Obama Steps 'Inside' Israeli Politics

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CBNNews.com - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shared his personal views on Israeli politics in a "closed" meeting with Jewish community leaders at a Cleveland, Ohio synagogue.

"I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel," Obama said.

With Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu leading Israeli polls as the likely successor to Ehud Olmert, Obama's remarks shed doubt on his predisposition to work with a Likud-led government, should he be elected the next U.S. president.

Haaretz correspondent Shmuel Rosner said Obama's statement "can be seen as meddling in the internal politics of Israel."

"Imagine Benjamin Netanyahu -- the chairman of the Likud party and according to all recent polls the leading candidate to become the next Israeli prime minister -- saying something along the lines of 'There are people who claim that I need to accept a Democratic nominee as friendly toward Israel' -- but this is not necessarily true, as I think the policies of the Republican party are much wiser.' Imagine him saying this and the outrage that would follow such a statement," Rosner wrote.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan called Obama "the hope of the entire world."

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," Farrakahan said to some 20,000 participants at the Nation of Islam's annual Saviours' Day celebration.

"This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed," the Nation of Islam minister said.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news service 

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