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President Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is blaming "them Jews" for keeping him from speaking to the president.

The former pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ told the Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia, that he hasn't spoken to Obama since he became president.

In an interview, Wright said, "Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me." Wright spoke to the newspaper following a Tuesday night sermon at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference.

Wright also told the newspaper that Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to Durban II, the United Nations World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that he did not for fear of offending Jews and Israel.

"Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing [by] the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don't want Barack talking like that because that's anti-Israel," Wright said.

The White House declined to comment on Wright's remarks.

Obama was a longtime member of the church but resigned from it and cut ties with Wright after videos of Wright's sometimes provocative sermons surfaced during the presidential campaign.