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Fleischer slams Obama over pastor

JTA’s Jacob Berkman has a story on President Bush’s former spokesman, Ari Fleischer, criticizing Barack Obama over his pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

“The statements that your clergy make when you join give a little bit of an indication of your own sense of right and wrong, and you cannot just divorce from that,” Fleischer said during a plenary session of the United Jewish Communities’ Washington 15, a gathering of more than 1,000 donors younger than 45 who are active in the Jewish federation system.

“If my rabbi had made those statements, I would have left the synagogue immediately,” said Fleischer, an active board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “It really troubles me that Barack Obama only waited until now to speak out about this issue.

“He was like a typical politician: It became a controversy, so he distanced himself. This is a very worrisome sign to me.”

We’re also hearing that at least one Jewish group known for its opposition to various Israeli-Palestinian deals is coming out with a statement. Stay tuned. [UPDATE: The ZOA confirms that it will be calling on Obama to repudiate Wright himself and to quit his church.]

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