Anti-Obama Holocaust e-mail causes uproar

The Pennsylvania Republican Party distributed an e-mail last week signed by three prominent Jewish Republicans suggesting that a vote for Barack Obama could bring about another Holocaust.

The e-mail, sent to 75,000 Jews in the state, extolled John McCain’s support for Israel and questioned Obama’s commitment to Israel, as well as his association with William Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

It concluded that “Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision … Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let’s not make a similar one this year.”

In the ensuing uproar, the political operative who wrote the e-mail was fired and its signatories distanced themselves from it.

Jewish signers included, according to the New York Times: I. Michael Coslov, the campaign chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and widely assumed to be its next president; Sandra Schultz Newman, a former state Supreme Court justice; and Mitchell L. Morgan, a top fundraiser. They said they had not read through the e-mail before agreeing to affix their names to it.

Additionally, the Republican Jewish Coalition distributed leaflets in heavily Jewish suburban Philadelphia neighborhoods, suggesting parallels between the election of Obama and “tragic outcomes for the Jewish people.”

The battle for Jewish voters is particularly intense in Pennsylvania, home to more than 400,000 Jews. — jta

Election '08: The Jewish Perspective