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May 21, 2008

NJDC Reacts to Republican Jewish Coalition’s “Ridiculous” South Florida Attack Ads

Listed in: Israel, Other Foreign Policy, Stop the Smears, NJDC News, Press Releases

Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), released the following statement criticizing the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) South Florida newspaper ads for their outrageous falsehoods aimed at Sen. Barack Obama:

The RJC ads are just ridiculous. They must be assuming South Florida Jews are unsophisticated.

These ads are just the latest in a consistent stream of outrageous falsehoods and lies smearing Sen. Obama. This type of crude attack is a precursor of the type of smear and fear campaign conservative groups will run in the Jewish community this fall.

We believe these smears will actually backfire because the Jewish community is sophisticated enough to realize these political tactics demonstrate the beginning of Republican desperation.

NJDC released the following memo rebuffing the claims in the RJC ads:

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) poses the following questions to Senator Obama for the sole purpose of sowing fear and distrust within the Jewish community.

1. In an interview, you called for a summit of Muslim nations, including Iran and Syria, but excluding Israel. Why? (Reuters, 1/30/08)

NJDC Response: Last we heard, Israel is a Jewish State. Why on earth would Israel be invited to a summit of Muslim nations?

2. One of your top advisors, Tony McPeak, placed blame on Miami and NY Jews for the failure of the Middle East peace process.

Why does McPeak continue in this role? (The Oregonian, 3/27/03)

NJDC Response: The Oregonian interview with McPeak never refers to “Jews” in Miami and New York. (The Oregonian, 3/27/03). If the RJC actually read Tony McPeak’s writings they would discover that McPeak is strongly supportive of Israel. General McPeak has apologized for any misunderstandings of comments that he made and has clearly stated that he does not believe that Jews were to be blamed for the failure of the peace process. (The Jewish Ledger, 4/10/08)

3. You were a member of the board of a foundation that funded, during your tenure, the Arab American Action Network, a pro-Palestinian organization. Why? (LA Times, 4/10/08)

NJDC Response: The grants from the Woods Fund to the Arab American Action Network were aimed at local programs designed for immigrant assistance and women’s empowerment. There was no connection to any political agenda.

The mission statement of the Woods Fund states: Woods Fund of Chicago is a grantmaking foundation whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them. The foundation works primarily as a funding partner with nonprofit organizations. Woods supports nonprofits in their important roles of engaging people in civic life, addressing the causes of poverty and other challenges facing the region, promoting more effective public policies, reducing racism and other barriers to equal opportunity, and building a sense of community and common ground. (Source:

The Arab American Action Network, was established in 1995 as a non-profit grassroots organization to work to improve the social, economic and political conditions of Arab immigrants and Arab Americans in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Its work has been praised by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily Herald for work on the prevention of domestic violence and its services to the immigrant community. It has partnered with the Chicago Department of Human Services, the University of Chicago, St. Xavier University, the Field Museum, Seiu, the Chicago Cultural Center and other civic and cultural institutions.

Furthermore, the RJC has incredible gall to attack Sen. Obama’s limited connections with Zbigniew Brzezinski when Sen. John McCain, himself, has said that he would relay on Brzezinski for foreign policy advice.