This from a man who voted for McCain in 2000:

Frank Schaeffer . . . is the son of the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer and considered himself a lifelong Republican. He voted for John McCain in 2000, and McCain even endorsed one of Schaeffer’s earlier books on military service. But on Friday, Schaeffer published an open letter to McCain excoriating the Arizona senator.


More than three hundred of them. Oy!


Quite a few Jewish voters this year are torn. They know they should be for Obama on so many issues. But they are unsure of his commitment to Israel.

My own thought is that either McCain or Obama will be very strong on Israel, but that when it comes to helping to keep Israel secure, Obama will have a huge advantage: much of the world will like and be inspired by him, and want to cooperate with him.

This, from an American who lives and works in Jerusalem:

From: Lionel Wolberger
Date: October 6, 2008 10:25:00 AM EDT
To: Howard Brown
Subject: Security and Obama

Dear fellow American and fellow Jewish voters,

I am an American living in Israel for 12 years. I have been watching the U.S. election with apprehension. My wife and I are raising three children here, so we have a big stake in the future of both countries. I think that the main issue in this American election is security. Not just National (military) Security, but security in a bigger sense: the ability to feel safe, confident, protected – free from fear and anxiety about the future.

I work at a security company in Jerusalem, and we know that security is a means, not an end. To actually “be” secure and to “feel” secure are two completely different things. You can FEEL secure even though you’re not, and you can BE secure even when you don’t feel it. And I am concerned that many Jewish Americans may be planning to vote for security in a way that will not make either America or Israel safer. It might FEEL more secure to vote for McCain: the candidate who is a former soldier with a Bible-thumping young woman by his side. It may feel less secure to vote for a young man named “Barack Hussein,” with a Muslim father.

I understand this but none of these FEELINGS translate into BEING secure.

I know, as a citizen of Israel, that Iran, Syria, Hamas and Al Qaeda are plotting to harm me and other Israelis, and these are not short term threats. To be really secure, Israel needs a reliable partner in the U.S. to face these long-term challenges. Now, when America’s military has its hands full with the protracted war in Iraq and the Wall Street crisis, its ability to come to Israel’s assistance is greatly diminished. At a time like this, Jewish Americans should not be moved by sound bites, fear mongering and rumors that obscure the real issues affecting both America’s security and Israel’s.

Talking points cannot convey the complex reality of the issues that really affect us. On the one hand, we have Senator McCain, a 72 1/2 year old cancer survivor and former smoker, 2 1/2 years older than any president that has ever [been sworn in as President]. He may need to leave his presidential duties to Sarah Palin who has no track record, especially relating to Israel and Jewish issues, and refuses to reveal her thinking on the subject outside of her well memorized talking points. This should be a red flag for Jewish voters.

Jewish voters should remember that people who use scare tactics — like saying that Obama is Muslim and associates with terrorists — are also, in the end, anti-Jewish. Jewish minorities are always vulnerable to such pandering, bigotry and lies. I hope that Jewish voters won’t let these scare tactics work. Go, like I did, to and read the facts. Go to the Library of Congress website and read each Senator’s legislative record. Go to Wikipedia and look over the candidates’ pages (and religions). I am terribly concerned that many of my fellow Jews believe the bigotry propagated by the same people who lied about John Kerry’s exemplary patriotism and heroism.

True, Obama is young: although Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy were younger than he is when they became presidents. I know that many Jews were scared by the words of his previous minister, Jeremiah Wright, but Obama repudiated Wright’s ideas numerous times; Palin, on the other hand, has not repudiated the ideas of either her Pentecostal minister Muthee nor Brickner, the Director of Jews for Jesus, who preaches that terrorist attacks in Israel are God’s ‘judgment’ against Israelis for failing to believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

Barack Obama’s record and his words have been consistent and strongly supportive of Israel. Just read the letter from Rabbi Jacob of Congregation KAM Isaiah Israel, the Chicago synagogue across the street from Obama’s Chicago home. Rabbi Jacob has known and worked with Senator Obama for many years and he is urging Americans to vote for Obama for many of the same reasons I have given.

Obama can lead the U.S.A.; he can marshal its legions of talented people to continue to lead the world, as they have for centuries. They are the ones that will make all of us safe, sound and secure.

Check out the website I set up with other letters, great videos and a blog.


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