Israeli generals say Obama camp duped them

Monday, October 06, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Several senior former Israeli defense officials have blasted a US Jewish organization linked to Barack Obama for distributing a short video in which they seemingly urge Americans to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.

Commissioned by the Jewish Council for Education & Research (JCER), which has made itself part of the Obama campaign, the video is titled "Israel's Generals Speak," and features some of the Jewish state's top military minds purportedly backing Obama's planned approach to the region.

But on Monday, one of those generals, former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Uzi Dayan told Voice of Israel radio that he had been deceived.

Dayan said that the filmmakers had told him they were making a documentary on what the next US president will have to deal with in the Middle East. Dayan answered their questions fully, only to be surprised when a mere five seconds of what he said appeared in the clip in a way that supports Obama's intention to hold talks with the current Iranian leadership.

Dayan in fact firmly objects to direct, unconditional talks with Iran's leadership.

Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy also appeared in the video, and also said that his words were taken grossly out of context.

The clip appears to show Halevy also backing Obama's positions vis-a-vis Iran and other regional threats to Israel, but the former spymaster said that similar remarks praising John McCain and his policies were conspicuously absent.

Halevy declined to answer when the filmmakers asked him who he supported for president, insisting that it was not the place of Israelis to advise Americans on whom they should vote for.

Both Dayan and Halevy have demanded that the JCER remove their segments from the campaign video.

Other Israeli generals appearing in the clip who hold more left-leaning views said they too were deceived by the filmmakers, but did not voice any opposition to it being used as part of Obama's campaign.

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