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Obama headed to the Promised Land

Two days after Republican John McCain announced he was going to South America, Democrat Barack Obama declared he was going to the Middle East and Europe. Both trips will garner attention from Florida's large Hispanic and Jewish populations.

Obama's campaign said he will visit "countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with close friends and allies,'' including France, Germany, Israel, Jordan and the United Kingdom.

"Israel is a strong and close friend of the United States, and is confronting grave threats from Gaza to Tehran,'' Obama said in a statement.

The Illinois senator has said he would not negotiate with Hamas because it is a terrorist group but would be willing to talk to the Iranian government, which has threatened to annihilate Israel.

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