Left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz reveals that a pro-Obama PAC deceived Israeli officials into issuing flattering comments about the candidate without revealing that it was to be used on political advertising. Some of them are angered by this deception and do not support Obama.
The ad was produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, which is already responsible for two other projects aimed at attracting Jewish voters to Obama, JewsVote.org and the Great Schlep.
But some of participants, apparently were unaware they were aiding a campaign ad. Dayan, for instance, claimed on Sunday that he had no idea he was appearing in the ad, that his words had been taken out of context, and that he neither supports nor opposes Obama, as he opposes any Israeli involvement in American politics.
"I never said I support Obama or his opinions," Dayan said. "They interviewed me in early July and said the interview would be devoted to questions of Middle East policy that would be on the new president's desk ... I don't know what I'm doing in a campaign video."
He added that he has asked the council to remove him from the clip and that he would consider his next moves after receiving its response.
Halevy also denied ever having expressed support for Obama. "I said he's a fresh, interesting personality and so forth, but I also said positive things about McCain," Halevy said. "I told them I thought it was inappropriate for an Israeli to express an opinion on who should be president of the U.S. I learned of this only today, and it angers me. I think it was an improper use of the interview with me, and I will demand
that they correct it.
The Obama campaign desperately wants Jewish voters to trust Obama. But deceptive tactics in creating advertising do not lead to greater trust.
In the video, the senior Israeli officials appear to support Obama's stated policy that dialogue with Iran would be the best way of confronting the current nuclear crisis. Dayan said that his position is just the opposite.
"I don't think that we - either the United States or Israel - should be engaged with Iran, because the Iranians will take advantage of that," the former deputy chief of staff
said. "Our issue is to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capability."
"We need more powerful, effective sanctions to delegitimize [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad," he continued. "A military option should be prepared, but used only as a last resort."
Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, who appeared in the video praising the Democratic candidate, also said that he was misled.
"I was interviewed for a documentary dealing with what issues the new American president must deal with regarding the Middle East," Halevy told the Post. "I was asked about the candidates, and was complimentary to both."
But when asked about his opinion on who was more qualified to be president, Halevy said that he had rejected the question.
"I said that I thought it was inappropriate for an Israeli to advise Americans on who they should vote for, as it would be for them to advise Israelis on who they should vote for prime minister," he said.