Barack Obama basked in several standing ovations as he addressed a gathering of Jewish leaders here in DC, looking to shake off worries that he won't be solid on Israel.
He started off by looking to debunk what he called "provocative e-mails" that have been circulating in Jewish communities across the country, questioning his support for Israel.
"They're filled with tale tales and dire warnings," he said. "And all I want to say is -- let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama, because he sounds pretty frightening."
"Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values," he told what is being billed as the largest gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."
He recalled the civil rights movement and Jewish Americans like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who "were willing to die alongside a black man - James Chaney - on behalf of freedom and equality.
"Their legacy is our inheritance," he said. "We must not allow the relationship between Jews and African Americans to suffer....Together, we can rededicate ourselves to end prejudice and combat hatred in all of its forms."
In the front row, leading the applause, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, Obama's Florida campaign chair.