The President’s Address at a DC Synagogue

by President Barack Obama

[Editor’s note: Several readers pointed out that the version that was first displayed had been tampered with – something that we were certainly unaware of. The version below is taken from the White House website, and should be accurate (unless the Elders of Zion hacked it without telling us.]

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you. Well, good morning, everybody!

AUDIENCE: Good morning!

THE PRESIDENT: A slightly early Shabbat Shalom. (Laughter.) I want to thank Rabbi Steinlauf for the very kind introduction. And to all the members of the congregation, thank you so much for such an extraordinary and warm welcome.

I want to thank a couple of outstanding members of Congress who are here. Senator Michael Bennet — where did Michael Bennet go? There he is. (Applause.) And Representative Sandy Levin, who is here. (Applause.) I want to thank our special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, for his important work. There he is. (Applause) But as I said, most of all I want to thank the entire congregation of Adas Israel for having me here today.

Earlier this week, I was actually interviewed by one of your members, Jeff Goldberg. (Applause.) And Jeff reminded me that he once called me “the first Jewish President.” (Laughter.) Now, since some people still seem to be wondering about my faith — (laughter) — I should make clear this was an honorary title. (Laughter.) But I was flattered.

And as an honorary member of the tribe, not to mention somebody who’s hosted seven White House Seders and been advised by — (applause) — and been advised by two Jewish chiefs of staff, I can also proudly say that I’m getting a little bit of the hang of the lingo. (Laughter.) But I will not use any of the Yiddish-isms that Rahm Emanuel taught me because — (laughter) — I want to be invited back. (Laughter.) Let’s just say he had some creative new synonyms for “Shalom.” (Laughter.)

Now, I wanted to come here to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month because this congregation, like so many around the country, helps us to tell the American story. And back in 1876, when President Grant helped dedicate Adas Israel, he became the first sitting President in history to attend a synagogue service. And at the time, it was an extraordinarily symbolic gesture — not just for America, but for the world.

And think about the landscape of Jewish history. Tomorrow night, the holiday of Shavuot marks the moment that Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai, the first link in a chain of tradition that stretches back thousands of years, and a foundation stone for our civilization. Yet for most of those years, Jews were persecuted — not embraced — by those in power. Many of your ancestors came here fleeing that persecution.
The United States could have been merely another destination in that ongoing diaspora. But those who came here found that America was more than just a country. America was an idea. America stood for something. As George Washington wrote to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island: The United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

It’s important for us to acknowledge that too often in our history we fell short of those lofty ideals — in the legal subjugation of African Americans, through slavery and Jim Crow; the treatment of Native Americans. And far too often, American Jews faced the scourge of anti-Semitism here at home. But our founding documents gave us a North Star, our Bill of Rights; our system of government gave us a capacity for change. And where other nations actively and legally might persecute or discriminate against those of different faiths, this nation was called upon to see all of us as equal before the eyes of the law. When other countries treated their own citizens as “wretched refuse,” we lifted up our lamp beside the golden door and welcomed them in. Our country is immeasurably stronger because we did. (Applause.)

From Einstein to Brandeis, from Jonas Salk to Betty Friedan, American Jews have made contributions to this country that have shaped it in every aspect. And as a community, American Jews have helped make our union more perfect. The story of Exodus inspired oppressed people around the world in their own struggles for civil rights. From the founding members of the NAACP to a freedom summer in Mississippi, from women’s rights to gay rights to workers’ rights, Jews took the heart of Biblical edict that we must not oppress a stranger, having been strangers once ourselves.

Earlier this year, when we marked the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, we remembered the iconic images of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching with Dr. King, praying with his feet. To some, it must have seemed strange that a rabbi from Warsaw would take such great risks to stand with a Baptist preacher from Atlanta. But Heschel explained that their cause was one and the same. In his essay, “No Religion is an Island,” he wrote, “We must choose between interfaith and inter-nihilism.” Between a shared hope that says together we can shape a brighter future, or a shared cynicism that says our world is simply beyond repair.

So the heritage we celebrate this month is a testament to the power of hope. Me standing here before you, all of you in this incredible congregation is a testament to the power of hope. (Applause.) It’s a rebuke to cynicism. It’s a rebuke to nihilism. And it inspires us to have faith that our future, like our past, will be shaped by the values that we share. At home, those values compel us to work to keep alive the American Dream of opportunity for all. It means that we care about issues that affect all children, not just our own; that we’re prepared to invest in early childhood education; that we are concerned about making college affordable; that we want to create communities where if you’re willing to work hard, you can get ahead the way so many who fled and arrived on these shores were able to get ahead. Around the world, those values compel us to redouble our efforts to protect our planet and to protect the human rights of all who share this planet.

It’s particularly important to remember now, given the tumult that is taking place in so many corners of the globe, in one of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods, those shared values compel us to reaffirm that our enduring friendship with the people of Israel and our unbreakable bonds with the state of Israel — that those bonds, that friendship cannot be broken. (Applause.) Those values compel us to say that our commitment to Israel’s security — and my commitment to Israel’s security — is and always will be unshakeable. (Applause.)

And I’ve said this before: It would be a moral failing on the part of the U.S. government and the American people, it would be a moral failing on my part if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly not just on behalf of Israel’s right to exist, but its right to thrive and prosper. (Applause.) Because it would ignore the history that brought the state of Israel about. It would ignore the struggle that’s taken place through millennia to try to affirm the kinds of values that say everybody has a place, everybody has rights, everybody is a child of God. (Applause.)

As many of you know, I’ve visited the houses hit by rocket fire in Sderot. I’ve been to Yad Vashem and made that solemn vow: “Never forget. Never again.” When someone threatens Israel’s citizens or its very right to exist, Israelis necessarily that seriously. And so do I. Today, the military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries is stronger than ever. Our support of the Iron Dome’s rocket system has saved Israeli lives. And I can say that no U.S. President, no administration has done more to ensure that Israel can protect itself than this one. (Applause.)

As part of that commitment, there’s something else that the United States and Israel agrees on: Iran must not, under any circumstances, be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) Now, there’s a debate about how to achieve that — and that’s a healthy debate. I’m not going to use my remaining time to go too deep into policy — although for those of you who are interested — (laughter) — we have a lot of material out there. (Laughter.) But I do want everybody to just remember a few key things.

The deal that we already reached with Iran has already halted or rolled back parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Now we’re seeking a comprehensive solution. I will not accept a bad deal. As I pointed out in my most recent article with Jeff Goldberg, this deal will have my name on it, so nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise. (Applause.) I want a good deal.

I’m interested in a deal that blocks every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon — every single path. A deal that imposes unprecedented inspections on all elements of Iran’s nuclear program, so that they can’t cheat; and if they try to cheat, we will immediately know about it and sanctions snap back on. A deal that endures beyond a decade; that addresses this challenge for the long term. In other words, a deal that makes the world and the region — including Israel — more secure. That’s how I define a good deal.

I can’t stand here today and guarantee an agreement will be reached. We’re hopeful. We’re working hard. But nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. And I’ve made clear that when it comes to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, all options are and will remain on the table.

Moreover, even if we do get a good deal, there remains the broader issue of Iran’s support for terrorism and regional destabilization, and ugly threats against Israel. And that’s why our strategic partnership with Israel will remain, no matter what happens in the days and years ahead. And that’s why the people of Israel must always know America has its back, and America will always have its back. (Applause.)

Now, that does not mean that there will not be, or should not be, periodic disagreements between our two governments. There will be disagreements on tactics when it comes to how to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and that is entirely appropriate and should be fully aired. Because the stakes are sufficiently high that anything that’s proposed has to be subjected to scrutiny — and I welcome that scrutiny.

But there are also going to be some disagreements rooted in shared history that go beyond tactics, that are rooted in how we might remain true to our shared values. I came to know Israel as a young man through these incredible images of kibbutzim, and Moshe Dayan, and Golda Meir, and Israel overcoming incredible odds in the ’67 war. The notion of pioneers who set out not only to safeguard a nation, but to remake the world. Not only to make the desert bloom, but to allow their values to flourish; to ensure that the best of Judaism would thrive. And those values in many ways came to be my own values. They believed the story of their people gave them a unique perspective among the nations of the world, a unique moral authority and responsibility that comes from having once been a stranger yourself.

And to a young man like me, grappling with his own identity, recognizing the scars of race here in this nation, inspired by the civil rights struggle, the idea that you could be grounded in your history, as Israel was, but not be trapped by it, to be able to repair the world — that idea was liberating. The example of Israel and its values was inspiring.

So when I hear some people say that disagreements over policy belie a general lack of support of Israel, I must object, and I object forcefully. (Applause.) For us to paper over difficult questions, particularly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or about settlement policy, that’s not a true measure of friendship.

Before I came out here, the Rabbi showed me the room that’s been built to promote scholarship and dialogue, and to be able to find how we make our shared values live. And the reason you have that room is because applying those values to our lives is often hard, and it involves difficult choices. That’s why we study. That’s why it’s not just a formula. And that’s what we have to do as nations as well as individuals. We have to grapple and struggle with how do we apply the values that we care about to this very challenging and dangerous world.

And it is precisely because I care so deeply about the state of Israel — it’s precisely because, yes, I have high expectations for Israel the same way I have high expectations for the United States of America — that I feel a responsibility to speak out honestly about what I think will lead to long-term security and to the preservation of a true democracy in the Jewish homeland. (Applause.) And I believe that’s two states for two peoples, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. (Applause.) Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people on their land, as well. (Applause.)

Now, I want to emphasize — that’s not easy. The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners. (Laughter.) The neighborhood is dangerous. And we cannot expect Israel to take existential risks with their security so that any deal that takes place has to take into account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility.

But it is worthwhile for us to keep up the prospect, the possibility of bridging divides and being just, and looking squarely at what’s possible but also necessary in order for Israel to be the type of nation that it was intended to be in its earliest founding. (Applause.)

And that same sense of shared values also compel me to speak out — compel all of us to speak out — against the scourge of anti-Semitism wherever it exists. (Applause.) I want to be clear that, to me, all these things are connected. The rights I insist upon and now fight for, for all people here in the United States compels me then to stand up for Israel and look out for the rights of the Jewish people. And the rights of the Jewish people then compel me to think about a Palestinian child in Ramallah that feels trapped without opportunity. That’s what Jewish values teach me. That’s what the Judeo-Christian tradition teaches me. These things are connected. (Applause.)

And in recent years, we’ve seen a deeply disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in parts of the world where it would have seemed unthinkable just a few years or decades ago. This is not some passing fad; these aren’t just isolated phenomenon. And we know from our history they cannot be ignored. Anti-Semitism is, and always will be, a threat to broader human values to which we all must aspire. And when we allow anti-Semitism to take root, then our souls are destroyed, and it will spread.

And that’s why, tonight, for the first time ever, congregations around the world are celebrating a Solidarity Shabbat. It’s a chance for leaders to publicly stand against anti-Semitism and bigotry in all of its forms. And I’m proud to be a part of this movement, and I’m proud that six ambassadors from Europe are joining us today. And their presence here — our presence together — is a reminder that we are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. (Applause.) Our traditions, our history, can help us chart a better course as long as we are mindful of that history and those traditions, and we are vigilant in speaking out and standing up against what is wrong. It’s not always easy, I think, to speak out against what is wrong, even for good people.

So I want to close with the story of one more of the many rabbis who came to Selma 50 years ago. A few days after David Teitelbaum arrived to join the protests, he and a colleague were thrown in jail. And they spent a Friday night in custody, singing Adon Olam to the tune of “We Shall Overcome.” And that in and of itself is a profound statement of faith and hope. But what’s wonderful is, is that out of respect many of their fellow protestors began wearing what they called “freedom caps” — (laughter) — yarmulkes — as they marched.

And the day after they were released from prison, Rabbi Teitelbaum watched Dr. King lead a prayer meeting before crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. And Dr. King said, “We are like the children of Israel, marching from slavery to freedom.”

That’s what happens when we’re true to our values. It’s not just good for us, but it brings the community together. (Applause.) Tikkun Olam — it brings the community together and it helps repair the world. It bridges differences that once looked unbridgeable. It creates a future for our children that once seemed unattainable. This congregation — Jewish American life is a testimony to the capacity to make our values live. But it requires courage. It requires strength. It requires that we speak the truth not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.

So may we always remember that our shared heritage makes us stronger, that our roots are intertwined. May we always choose faith over nihilism, and courage over despair, and hope over cynicism and fear. As we walk our own leg of a timeless, sacred march, may we always stand together, here at home and around the world.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. Thank you. (Applause.)

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. Aryeh Lev says:

    Without saying so, this transcript of the speech cuts out several paragraphs in which President Obama discusses the disagreements between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu, and speaks about his view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The missing paragraphs come after the phrase “having once been a stranger.”

    I’m not sure why Cross-Currents cut these paragraphs out, but the site should at least disclose that it did so.

    [YA – Certainly did not cut them. Merely passed along what we received – from someone who is certainly not a great admirer of this presidency. We’ll have to go further up the food chain to see where it was deleted. Send them, and we’ll insert them.]

  2. Toby Bulman Katz says:

    [1] “Now, I wanted to come here to celebrate Jewish-American heritage month.”

    Who knew it was Jewish-American Heritage Month? What is Jewish-American Heritage Month? Since when do we have only one month a year to celebrate the happy coincidence that Jewish values and liberal Democrat values are identical? I thought we were supposed to celebrate that all year long!

    [2] “Many of your ancestors came here fleeing that persecution….those who came here found that America was more than just a country. America was an idea. ….It’s important for us to of knowledge that too often in our history we fell short of those lofty ideals.”

    I don’t think the man has ever made a speech in which he has not trashed America. Is this country flawed? Yes it is. But it’s still the best country in the entire world, in the entire history of the world, not counting the supernatural history of Eretz Yisrael which stands above and outside of normal human history.

    [3] “And where other nations actively and legally might persecute and discriminate against those of different faiths, this nation was called upon to see all of us as equals before the eyes of the Lord. When other countries treated their own citizens as wretched refuse, we lifted up our lamp, saw the golden door, and welcomed them in. Our country is immeasurably stronger because we did. [APPLAUSE]”

    Ah those Yiddelach, those Yiddelach! Licking up the honey that drips from his sweet honeyed mouth! On the one hand, everything he says is couched in cliches and platitudes. On the other hand, all of his cliches and platitudes have important subtexts. The subtext here is: Just as you Jews with your hard work and brains immeasurably enriched this country, so the forty or sixty million illegal aliens from South of the Border will likewise enrich this country, even though they are coming here primarily to benefit from our impossible, unsustainable welfare system and have nothing like the social capital you Jews have.

    [4] “The story of Exodus inspired oppressed people around the world in their own struggles for civil rights. From the founding members of the NAACP to a freedom summer in Mississippi, from (1-2) women’s rights to (3) gay rights to (4) workers’ rights. Jews took the heart of the biblical edict that we must not oppress a stranger, having been strangers once ourselves.”

    Yes, it’s all there, the Exodus, the Torah, the Ten Commandments: (1) Women shall be like men, they shall compete with men in the marketplace and they shall fight for their right to join combat units in the military and they shall most importantly of all, celebrate the Sacrament of Abortion, which enables them to enjoy sexual freedom, fornicate with numerous partners out of wedlock, and never be encumbered by children! (2) Marriage is old-fashioned and oppressive and its vows and commitments are no more binding than your choice of a blue shirt today and a red shirt tomorrow. (3) Except for gays who MUST marry and whose marriages must be recognized by the state and by all Catholic adoption agencies and by all bakers, photographers and everyone in the whole country, because without the commitment of marriage gay people can never know love. (4) All workers must pay union dues so that unions can continue to be the gigantic slush fund for the Democratic Party they have always been. Etc.

    [5] “The heritage we celebrate this month is a testament to the power of hope. Me standing here before you, all of you in this incredible congregation, is a testament to the power of hope. [APPLAUSE]”

    And here as always you have the man’s incredible narcissism on display, “It’s about me, everything is about me. America is deeply deeply flawed but the one ray of light is ME!” Yay! Applause!

    [6] “At home, those values compel us to work to keep alive the American dream of opportunity for all. It means we care about issues that affect all children, not just our own.”

    In other words, I am coming after YOUR money to spread it around, and you stupid affluent Jews are just sitting there smiling and clapping because you think I am planning to take OTHER people’s money to fund all my spending sprees. You are pretty confident that between your lawyer and your accountant, YOU won’t personally have to cough up too much to take care of other people’s children, but when you vote for the Democrats, you feel oh so smug and superior and moral and generous because taking Peter’s money to pay Paul is the very essence of Jewish charity — Reform liberal Democrat style!

    [7] “We are prepared to invest in early childhood education.”

    I like that word “invest.” Like if I go out and splurge on a vacation and say I “invested” my money in a cruise. In other words you are prepared to spend billions on programs to keep millions of little kidlets warehoused somewhere safe so Mommy can go back to work, and if some benighted Mommy wants to stay home with her own kidlets, we will tax the hell out of her husband to pay for other people’s kids’ babysitting so other mommies will be able to go to work and live out their dreams of being just like men. As if.

    [8] “That we are concerned about making college affordable.”

    So when are you libs going to stop pretending that universities like Harvard are “non-profits”?

    And you libs created this nightmare with all the Pell grants and student loans, with all the money sloshing around — of course the colleges are sopping up all that extra money and education costs are going through the roof. But you don’t demonize them the way you demonize Big Business, for raising their prices in such an unconscionable way. No, you love them because they are hotbeds of liberal propaganda, not to mention fashionable anti-Semitism, and you are going to make them “affordable” by giving them even more money, subsidizing their outrageous tuition fees — and sending the bill to us, the taxpayers!

    [9] “Around the world, those values compel us to redouble our efforts to (A) protect our planet and to (B)protect the human rights of all who share this planet.”

    A. Protect the planet is code for doing everything possible to impoverish American business, to choke off free enterprise, and to prevent currently backwards countries from advancing to the stage of modern countries where industry and cars cause [mostly imaginary] pollution. Although, strangely, you are willing to turn a blind eye to the genuine — and horrifying — pollution China is spewing. But your main aim is to hobble America. Now if you really want to see dirty air and dirty water, go to the poorest places in India and Africa where people cook over open fires and use the same river as a bathroom and a source of drinking water, where people suffer from dysentery and malnutrition and millions of children die of malaria (thank you, Rachel Carson) because the western world no longer approves of DDT. You are also all too willing to hobble American energy production but have no problem with Arab oil wells. You in fact much prefer that we continue to get our oil from Saudi Arabia than from our own country, even though their wells are so much more polluting than ours.

    B. “Protect human rights” is a phrase with no content at all when you libs whine on and on about abortion and gay marriage while completely ignoring what goes on in Muslim countries, the way women and homosexuals are treated in those countries, not to mention the way Christians and Jews are treated. The bottom line is that liberalism is all about hypocrisy and sheker, sheker, sheker.

    [10] “Our support of the ironed rocket system — Iron Dome rocket system has saved Israeli lives.”

    He has trouble reading his own teleprompter! He sees “Iron Dome” and thinks it says, “ironed!” Oops. In a second he catches himself — and takes credit for a system that was designed long before he got to the White House. But I will say one positive thing about his speech and that is: even if it’s only lip service, and even if it’s only in front of Jewish audiences, at least he does acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself. So I’ll give his bajillionaire Jewish donors credit at least for accomplishing SOMETHING.

    [11] “Those values compel us to say that our commitment to Israel’s security and my commitment to Israel’s security is and always will be unshakable. [APPLAUSE]”

    Ay, ay, ay! My beloved fellow Yiddalach!

    “Climb onto my back, little Gingerbread Boy.”

    Just remember this:

    “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance.”

    And if you believed him when he said that you will no doubt believe him when he says this:

    “If you Israelis like your little country, you can keep your little country. After we chop off half of it. Thank you and good night you stupid blind Jews.” APPLAUSE

  3. Bob Miller says:

    Whoever wrote this speech thinks we’re really gullible, and may have a point in that regard.

  4. mycroft says:

    “[1] “Now, I wanted to come here to celebrate Jewish-American heritage month.”

    Who knew it was Jewish-American Heritage Month? What is Jewish-American Heritage Month? Since when do we have only one month a year to celebrate the happy coincidence that Jewish values and liberal Democrat values are identical? I thought we were supposed to celebrate that all year long!”

    JAHM was set into law by President George W. Bush in 2006, according to the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition. This is the achievement of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), as well as the Jewish Museum of Florida and the South Florida Jewish Community.[2] A similar month exists in Florida as Florida Jewish History Month but it occurs in January.[3
    Jewish Heritage Month is just one of many Heritage months
    e Celebrated
    None to date
    African American History Month
    National Women’s History Month
    None to date
    Asian Pacific American Heritage, Older Americans Month and Jewish American Heritage Month
    Gay Lesbian Pride Month
    None to date
    None to date
    National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
    National Disability Employment Awareness Month and National Italian American Heritage Month
    National American Indian Heritage Month
    None to date; are two international commemorations

    Note dating of first President Bush proclamation
    NOW, THEREFORE, I GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States
    of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
    laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2006 as Jewish Amer-
    ican Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with
    appropriate programs and activities that honor the significant contributions
    Jewish Americans have made to our Nation.
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day
    of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence
    of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.
    compared to dating of last years proclamation
    , do hereby proclaim May 2014 as Jewish
    American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to visit to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month, the theme of which is healing the world, with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.
    compared to last years where for Jewish Heritage month proclamation the usual way of dating documents was changed to show Jewish sensitivity
    Federal Register
    / Vol. 79, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 6, 2014 / Presidential Documents
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day
    of April, in the year two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of
    the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

  5. Y. Ben-David says:

    Jews using the expression “I am a member of the tribe” really annoys me. It is popular among liberal/”progressive” assimilationist Jews who claim to oppose any sort of parochialism among Jews, who are not comfortable with Israel and Zionism and who say they love “all of humanity”, yet, at the same time hold by the dictum which was originally said regarding the Reconstructionist philosophy of Mordechai Kaplan….”the Jews are a divinely chosen people, whose heavenly mandated mission is to teach mankind that there is no deity and the Jews are no different than anyone else”.
    Saying they are a “member of the tribe” expresses the supposed superiority these “progressive” Jews feel about themselves. In reality the Jews are not “a tribe”, the Torah teaches us that the Jews are a NATION and the Torah is our CONSTITUTION. We are not necessarily smarter than other people, unlike what those who calls themselves “members of the tribe”, but we do have extra responsibilities.
    I wonder how the Muslims feel about Obama saying he is a “member of the tribe”? His acolytes have probably assured them that if they want the Iranians to get The Bomb, then they have to realize that that Obama needs to get Jewish support to get it through Congress, so he has to say things like this that he doesn’t mean in order to get that support.

  6. Raymond says:

    The comments I am about to make about the above speech by our President, will undoubtedly shock those who know me best. However, I believe in praising people where praise is due, and I honestly see nothing wrong with President Obama’s speech here. While I am not so naive that I would actually believe his words, at least the words themselves are basically pleasant ones. So even if he really wants the Jewish State of Israel to be destroyed, the fact is that he went out of his way to say the right things, and for that I salute him.

  7. Reb Yid says:

    It would be an interesting experiment to post statements and then see how people react to them. But then and only then should it be revealed who actually made the statements.

    Too often people are ready to bash a statement not for its content but rather by who made it. Or conversely to let it go but only if it’s by someone with whom they like.

  8. DF says:

    I’m amazed the anonymous guest contributor considers this speech indicative of anything. What politician would say anything other than these platitudes that the speechwriter wrote? Particularly in a heterodox synagogue in DC, filled with left-wing supporters.

    The debate about whether or not this president is a friend of Israel or the entire Israeli electorate and government is mistaken, can be left for another day. But one thing is for sure – this speech is meaningless, and its astounding anyone remotely familiar with politicians can think otherwise. Actions count, not words. Indeed, one wonders at the lengths of wishful thinking some are willing to engage in, or the straws they will grasp, to avoid shifting their paradigms.

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    This speech makes me think of President Lincoln’s speech about being able to able fool half the people all of the time, all of the people half the time , but not all of the people all of the time. Take a look at the linked article and what promises to be a fascinating book.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This