There Must be a Reasonable Explanation


The Zionist Organization of America issued a press release last week noting some curious omissions from the Obama administration’s communications. Candidate Obama omitted any Israeli city from an enumeration of cities victimized by terrorism in his much touted Berlin speech as a candidate in 2008. (Amman did make it so it cannot be that candidate Obama had placed an embargo on mention of the Middle East.) Perhaps he shrewdly estimated that his European audience would likely be more sympathetic to the perpetrators than the victims of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

And recently, the administration’s talking points on the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11 did not recall any Israeli city when praising the resilience of “individuals, families and communities… whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.” I guess they could not think of another city whose name begins with the same first letter as Sderot or Jerusalem.

Something other than stylistic considerations, however, must explain President Obama’s failure to mention Israel in remarks praising all those nations that contributed to relief efforts in the wake of the January 10, 2010 Haitian earthquake. Though Israel was the first nation on the scene setting up a field hospital and provided more aid than any other country besides the United States, it merited no citation in the President’s list of contributing countries – “Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic, among others.”

A pattern, or just a coincidence?

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Yehoshua Friedman
4 years 12 days ago

Raymond, of course I can’t make any guarantees. I also don’t expect you to make aliya without doing your homework. All I say is, check out the possibilities. Tsfat is not exactly the economic center of Israel, to put it mildly. It depends on what you do, have done or are capable of doing. An out of the box approach is in order. You might have to work at least partly online or off planes to keep your kids in affordable schools here. It can only work if you try. It certainly won’t work if you start by making excuses.

L. Oberstein
4 years 12 days ago

Here is what the President said today at the UN. Is this not clear enough.
“America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were. Those are facts. They cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition.”

4 years 16 days ago

Yehoshua Friedman, if you can guarantee that I would land a job in Israel (preferably in Tsfat) as stable and comparable to pay to what I make here in America, then I might very well be open to moving to Israel. But can you honestly make such a guarantee?

Tal Benschar
4 years 16 days ago

And no kudos or hakarat hatov from the ZOA (although plenty from Bibi and the former head of Mossad) for our President, without whose immediate, personal involvement Israel would not have been able to rescue 6 of its citizens from their embassy in Cairo. Never mind that this probably cost the US political capital with the Arabs,

While one must express hakarat ha tov to the President for intervening to save 6 Jewish lives, it is quite clear that the United States had a very powerful interest in making sure that the fiasco that took place at the Israeli embassy two weeks ago did not end up with bloodshed. Had the worst happened, then Egypt would have turned into Iran circa 1979. First of all, Congress would have immediately cut off all aid to Egypt. Second, the vast majority of Israelis would have been turned off for 20 years to any peace negotiations. Third, one of the greates achievements of the U.S. in the region — the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, would have been shown to be a hollow temporary achievement. Fourth, given the above, the Muslim Brotherhood would be in an even better position to take over Egypt.

Yehoshua Friedman
4 years 17 days ago

I think as Torah-observant Jews who believe that Hashem runs the world, we should put things in proper perspective. The Jewish lobby and the Jewish vote are not what makes the President and the Congress take Israel seriously. The believing Christian lobby is a much larger force. The frum Jews of America can make the consideration at this time that economically as well as religiously Israel is the place to be. This is in addition to the positive mitzvah, r’tzon Hashem, for a Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael. It is possible to quibble about whether the Rambam holds so or not, but where do you think He really wants you to live? If you have a large family and are concerned that all your children receive a Jewish education, in the US you have to pay exhorbitant sums for the privilege, and you pay to support a public educational system from which you get little or no benefit. This usually outweighs the difference in what you can earn in America as opposed to Israel. The aliya and klita process is also much less difficult since 2008 when the Jewish Agency turned it all over to Nefesh B’Nefesh. In short, it is a no-brainer: get over to Nefesh B’Nefesh, do a pilot trip, pack up, make aliya.