Barack Obama has launched a Hebrew blog in Israel, which an aide Eric Lynn says Obama hopes will help strengthen his ties with the Israeli public.
The blog that opened Friday includes Obama's speech to a pro-Israel lobby in March. (Click here to view the blog.)
Lynn says at the bottom of the blog that Obama is committed to Israel's security.
The Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported Friday that Obama's campaign insisted that the blog be opened before the Democratic primary April 22 in Pennsylvania. The state has a large Jewish population.
Obama's staff has worked hard to disprove a mass e-mail campaign, which had leveled a succession of allegations against the candidate, branding him a secret anti-Semite, a closet Muslim who took his official oath of office with his hand on the Koran instead of the Bible, and a disciple of fiery Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The campaign further alleged that several of Obama's Mideast policy advisors are pro-Palestinian haters of Israel.
During a debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Obama stressed his "stalwart" support for Israel and his ties to American Jews. He said he considers Israel to be one of the U.S.' "most important allies in the region [Mideast]" and added: "I think that their security is sacrosanct."
On Friday, Obama declined to criticize former U.S. president Jimmy Carter for planning to meet with Hamas officials during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, but added that he himself would refuse to meet with leaders of the militant Islamic group.
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