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April 11, 2009
Obama's slap in the face to Jews while hosting a Seder
The White House signed a waiver allowing the Palestinian Liberation Organization to maintain its office in Washington just hours before celebrating Passover with Jewish Americans.
The waiver itself is a ritual engaged in by the past two Presidents on a regular basis. Congress passed a law banning such an office because of the ties between the PLO and terror. However, the law gave Presidents the power to waive the ban in the interests of national security. Such waivers are not entirely uncommon when it comes to legislation involving foreign policy.
One can give the administration a pass on the waiver itself. Presidents Bill Clinton and Bush regularly issued such waivers. One can argue the merits of doing so but one can also acknowledge that two President considered friends of Israel who are members of different political parties have done so in the past.
However, to issue a waiver around the time that President Obama hosted the first-ever Passover Seder in the White is just obtuse. Passover celebrates the freedom of Jews who were enslaved by Egyptians. The PLO is an organization that had been dedicated (and many would argue, with reason, still is dedicated) not to the enslavement of Jews but to their destruction. Is there truly no one in the State Departrment or the White House that could appreciate the juxtaposition of these two events would be not just insensitive but needlessly offensive?
Is there any administration that has been so amateurish or insensitive when it comes to the feelings of allies and friends. The juxtaposition of the waiver and the Seder is just one striking example of the "disparage friends, praise enemies" approach of the Administration. One can add this incident to the protocol problems involving Gordon Brown, the Queen of England, the Special Olympics, German-speaking Austrians - and those are ones just off the top of my noggin before the coffee has kicked in this morning. However, there is an added dimension to this incident.
Barack Obama has gone out of his way to praise Islam-and has done so repeatedly and began his Presidency with praise for Islam that has now become a pattern:
In his inaugural address President Obama jettisoned the long-established locution that embodies the generally-accepted notion of "the Judeo-Christian tradition." That tradition, in America, mandates the phrase "Christians and Jews," with Christians in first place for the good reason that the roots of this country and most of those who founded it are Christian. Obama, however, said on January 20 that "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims," and then, after a slight pause, "Jews and Hindus," another slight pause, "and unbelievers." Later, in his Al-arabiya interview, he demoted the Jews still further, calling America a country of "Muslims, Christians, Jews."
He honored the "Islamic Republic of Iran", a formulation never before used by an American President and one that acknowledges and honors the religious extremism of the ruling regime (that is deeply unpopular with the Iranian people). His bow before Saudi King Abdullah was a sign of deference to royalty, but also a display of respect for a man who heads a regime that oppresses, tortures, and kills women and children. King Abdullah also spreads anti-Americanism anti-Semitism, and anti-Christian propaganda throughout the world.
President Obama constantly hammers home the respect that he says is Islam's due, and even commends the positive role that Islam has played in America's development (has he been reading the textbooks issued by the Saudis that portray a false image of Islam's leading role in American history).
Indeed, a pattern has begun to emerge with this President and this administration. They just do not seem to respect America or Americans, or respect us enough to refrain from apologizing for our supposed sins. Small town residents who are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiments or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Did he not also disparage people who live in the suburbs in one of his books, opining that suburban life was not a lifestyle he wanted to lead?
And all Americans were branded “cowards” by Attorney General Eric Holder for failure-in his mind-to have discussions about race. We all know that discussions of race have been an ever-present feature of our schools, work, and life for decades now.
Perhaps the Obama administration staffers should all be given courses in sensitivity training; we know that is one career that will be boosted during the next 4 years. After all, our new Attorney General has charged the Justice Department with a special obligation to investigate, not terror networks, but allegations of racism.
They also seem indifferent to the concerns of America's Jewish population which has been demoted by rhetoric and now slapped in the face during a Seder .
Is this the Change Obama's supporters were hoping for?