This week Jews across America celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and received holiday greetings from our President that were remarkable for their offensive preachiness. Beyond a perfunctory wish for a sweet New Year, Jews got a lecture on the Two State solution. American Jews were told this is a time to repent, think of those in need, embrace diversity, cultivate humility and compassion, move beyond differences with the Palestinians, and choose the Two State solution.
Not a single word of praise for Judaism or American Jews. Not one. For that matter, after the first sentence, the word Jew does not appear, and Judaism is not mentioned by name at all. Obama doesn’t seem to like speaking about Jews or Judaism. (In his Ramadan message which is one hundred words shorter, the words Muslim and Islam are used seven times.)
Nancy and I hear (the shofar’s) call and are reminded by it that so much in our American heritage is drawn from the religious values enunciated during the Jewish High Holy Days…. The ties between the Jewish and American traditions run deep and are related in no small way to the special relationship that exists between the United States and Israel — a relationship based on the common spiritual and ethical values encompassed in the shofar’s call to prayer.
To appreciate how arrogant Obama’s Rosh Hashanah statement was, compare it to Obama’s words on Christmas, Ramadan, or St. Patrick’s day. St. Patrick’s is a model of normal politic blarney on an ethnic holiday. Obama’s Ramadan message is a weird world of sycophantic praise:
“Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. … Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”
Obama seems to have a tin ear about how cartoonishly false his list of Muslim virtues sounds – it’s actually a list of what Islam is not. Yet these precise virtues are strikingly true of American Jews, for whom Obama had not a word of praise. On Rosh Hashanah Obama did not recall any Jewish contributions to America, while on Ramadan we were told Moslem contributions to America are ‘extraordinary.” Can you think of a single one? Can you imagine American medicine, physics, the space program, hi tech industry, finance industry, the entertainment industry from Bogey & Bacall to White Christmas, the civil rights movement…the list is endless… without Jews?
It is Judaism that is an essential part of the Judeo-Christian values that forged this country starting with the Mayflower. (Read On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding by Michael Novak. The first American to fight against discrimination was Asser Levy, who won the right to bear arms rather than pay a special Jewish tax levied by Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant.
Obama praises “Islam’s role in advancing justice…and the dignity of all human beings.” Islam is world famous for its injustice. BHO has not a word of praise for Jewish justice. Yet the Hebrew Bible invented equality before the law, starting with Genesis where all humans are created equally in G-d’s image, and going on to teach in Leviticus 19, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” and “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” (Get that Justice Kagan?)
And for Christmas? When it comes to Christianity, Obama can’t even finish a complete sentence.
Obama is capable of sweet talk when he wants to. When it comes to Israel, American Jews, or America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, the feeling just isn’t there. All he wants to do is wag his finger at us.