Is­raeli of­fi­cials ‘duped’ into pro-Oba­maad

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY YAAKOV KATZ JERUSALEM ANDNATHANGUTTMAN WASH­ING­TON

TWO FOR­MER lead­ing Is­raeli se­cu­rity of­fi­cials say they were duped into tak­ing part in a video ad sup­port­ing United States Se­na­tor Barack Obama’s cam­paign for pres­i­dent that has been widely cir­cu­lated on the in­ter­net.

Uzi Dayan, a for­mer IDF deputy chief-of-staff, and for­mer Mos­sad chief Ephraim Halevy were among eight exse­cu­rity of­fi­cials in­ter­viewed for the short film re­leased by the Jewish Coun­cil for Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­search.

“This was a lie and a de­cep­tion since I never ex­pressed sup­port for Obama or for John McCain,” Mr Dayan told the JC. “I was told this was a movie about the is­sues the next pres­i­dent will have to deal with and that con­cern Is­rael. I re­sponded ac­cord­ingly without tak­ing any side po­lit­i­cally.”

Is­raelis, Mr Dayan added, have no busi­ness in­ter­fer­ing in the US elec­tions, just as Amer­i­cans should not in­ter­fere in Is­raeli pol­i­tics. He said that the film’s pro­ducer as­sured him that an apol­ogy would be pub­lished.

The eight-minute video was pro­duced by the JCER, which ac­cord­ing to its web­site sup­ports Mr Obama’s can­di­dacy and was “cre­ated to de­velop and dis­sem­i­nate in­for­ma­tion to vot­ers in the United States around is­sues of con­cern to the Jewish com­mu­nity”.

It was also be­hind the Great Schlep, a video fea­tur­ing TV star Sarah Sil­ver- man en­cour­ag­ing Jewish youth to visit their grand­par­ents in Florida and per­suade them to vote for Mr Obama.

In the video, the se­nior Is­raeli of­fi­cials are por­trayed as sup­port­ing Mr Obama’s de­clared pol­icy of en­gage­ment with Iran. Mr Dayan said that his po­si­tion was the ex­act op­po­site.

“They cut out half of what I said mak­ing it seem like I sup­port di­a­logue with Iran,” he ex­plained. “In re­al­ity, I am against a di­a­logue since I think it will be mis­used by Iran.”

Mr Halevy also ap­peared in the video to sup­port the Demo­cratic can­di­date, but later said that he too had been mis­led into be­liev­ing that the in­ter­view was part of a doc­u­men­tary deal­ing with chal­lenges the next pres­i­dent will face in the Mid­dle East.

Fac­ing mount­ing crit­i­cism, creators re­leased a state­ment on Mon­day mak­ing clear they will be will­ing to “work with the pro­duc­ers” in or­der to ad­dress con­cerns raised by some of those in­ter­viewed.

How­ever, they re­jected claims that the for­mer of­fi­cials were mis­led in any way or were un­aware of the na­ture of the project.

“The Is­raeli pro­duc­ers have as­sured us that all par­tic­i­pants were fully in­formed of the na­ture of the project,” said Mik Moore, JCER co-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

He added: “Nei­ther the film nor any of our sub­se­quent re­marks im­ply that those in­ter­viewed are en­dors­ing Obama’s can­di­dacy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.