Barack Obama's campaign is working to tamp down criticism levied by the Republican Jewish Coalition over the Democratic presidential front-runner's history of support for Israel.
In questioning Obama's Middle East bona fides, the coalition cited comments made this week by new third party presidential candidate Ralph Nader about what he characterized as the senator's "pro-Palestinian" positions during his Illinois state Senate career. The campaign has cited the candidate's U.S. Senate votes in support of Israel and has put forward Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, an Obama adviser who is Jewish, to speak on the candidate's behalf.
"Barack Obama's long-standing support for Israel is well known," Wexler said in a statement to U.S. News, "so it is confusing that the RJC would turn to Ralph Nader as their source for independent analysis of the situation in the Middle East." He said that Obama is "more interested in standing up for Israel's security than trying to score cheap political points."
And Wexler said that Nader has "zero credibility in the pro-Israel community."