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Arab Journos Boycott Obama Roundtable; Won't Sit With Jew

3:37 PM, Jun 5, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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After Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday, he arranged a roundtable with eight journalists. Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli paper, was invited to send a correspondent as were several Arab papers. Nahum Barnea reports (translation):

After Obama's speech yesterday at Cairo University, we gathered, six senior journalists from all over the Muslim world and I, the reporter for Yedioth Ahronoth, around a circular table in a side room. The president wanted to give us an interview.

The original group had eight. The Syrian did not show after hearing that a reporter from Israel had been invited. The Lebanese, Naoum Sarkis, had been sitting with us all at the front of the hall but when he realized where I was from and whom I was representing, he passed on the opportunity and fled.

Lebanon and Syria, two countries that share a common border with Israel, respectively act as a state-sponsor and base for terror against Israel. The reporters from these countries would not even sit in the same room as a Jew -- even after bathing in Obama's healing rhetoric. Other Arab journalists did stay, including a Palestinian, to hear Obama compare Bibi to Nixon. "Only the anti-Communist Nixon could have opened the doors to China," Obama said. Of course, Nixon was also forced to resign.