The OU is not endorsing Barack Obama

A top Orthodox Union official’s unwitting and unapproved appearance in a pro-Obama video has led the organization to reiterate that it does not endorse candidates.

Nathan Diament, director of the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs, is briefly shown and identified on screen by his name and organization, but is not heard speaking, in a video entitled “Israelis for Obama,” available on the Internet. Diament said the footage in the video came from a old report on an Israeli news program called “Fact,” considered the Israeli equivalent of “60 Minutes.” The senior correspondent of that program appears on the video endorsing Obama.

The OU received numerous calls and e-mails asking whether Diament’s appearance indicated an endorsement, said Diament, so it posted a statement on its blog Thursday emphasizing that the OU is a “tax-exempt, non-partisan organization and does not endorse or oppose candidates for elective office,” and that the same applies to Diament.

The Israeli producers of the video have told the OU that Diament’s image will be removed in the upcoming DVD version of the film. Diament asked that he be cut him out of the Youtube version as well, but thus far that has not occurred.

Diament has known the Democratic nominee well before either of them were in their current positions. The two attended Harvard Law School together.

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