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Commentary about the White House Seder

(White House photo) The White House 2010 Seder. From right to left, Jen Psaki, deputy communications chief; President Obama, Lisa Kohnke, deputy director of White House advance, Eric Lesser, assistant to White House senior advisor David Axelrod; his mother, Joan Lesser, and Joanna Cohen, step-daughter of Susan Sher, chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama and White House liaison to the Jewish community. (via Chicago Sun-Times)

Jonathan Tobin writes in 2 articles (redacted here by Joo-Tube) the Jewish World Review "New World's Record for Chutzpah: Obama's Seder":   "This year, along with the conventional four questions of the Passover Seder, some Americans are starting ask themselves "Why is this president different from all other presidents?"

The answer is that Barack Obama has now established opposition to Israel's hold on its capital as a cornerstone of American Middle East policy in a way that is completely new as well as dangerous. Those wondering whether or not this development ought to cause them to re-evaluate their political loyalties might want to remember the closing refrain of Passover Seders down through the centuries: "Next year in Jerusalem."

There will, no doubt, be many American Jews who are still so insecure in their place in American society that they will feel flattered that even a president who has proved himself the most hostile chief executive to Israel in a generation will pay lip service to Judaism in this way. No doubt the planting of this sympathetic story on the front page of the Sunday New York Times is calculated to soften the blow of his Jerusalem policy and his disdain for Israel in the eyes of many of Obama's loyal Jewish supporters.

Can any Jew with a smidgeon of self-respect or affection for Israel think that having a president say "Next year in Jerusalem!" while sitting at a table with matzo and macaroons makes up for policies that treat the 200,000 Jews living in the post-1967 Jewish neighborhoods of their own ancient capital as illegal settlers on stolen land?

Despite that fact that his diplomatic offensive has virtually no chance of success, Obama has still done something that will permanently alter Middle Eastern diplomacy. By treating the Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem as a vast illegal settlement, the continued growth of which is an alleged impediment to peace, Obama has made it impossible for any Arab leader to ever accept Israel's possession of this part of the city. This not only makes the already near-impossible task of forging peace that much harder, it is a crushing blow to decades of Israeli and American Jewish efforts to force international recognition of a unified Jerusalem.

Perhaps Obama and his coterie of Jewish advisers think they are entitled to expropriate the symbols of Judaism to lend legitimacy to their anti-Israel policies. Of course, if Obama had any real sympathy for the people of Israel or the Jewish people, he might instead spend Monday night reevaluating a policy that appears to concede nuclear weapons to the rabid Jew-haters of Islamist Iran and reinforces the intransigence of the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority and its allies across the Muslim world."

Jewlicious Blog's The Middle sees Obama's escalating the problem. An anonymous, administration leaker accused White House Middle East strategist, Dennis Ross, of taking Israel’s side over America’s side - thereby calling into question the loyalty of American Jews.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not shocked to be reading this. I’ve read this before. ON ANTISEMITIC WEBSITES. Oh, okay, also on some partisan pro-Palestinian websites. But in this case, the dual loyalty charge being leveled at a Jew is coming from the White House. ...

I worry about what Obama is doing not just to Israel and the prospects of peace, which he is definitely undermining, but to those American Jews who support Israel. He is undermining the ties that bind us all. ...

But not to worry. Tomorrow, some White House person will come out and declare that Israel and America’s bonds are unshakable. Somewhere else, a White House representative – don’t worry, it won’t be Obama because he won’t be caught doing the dirty work – will let a newspaper, a blogger or a congressional committee know that Israel is the undoing of America in the Mid-East and the support of those Americans who advocate for Israel is partly responsible for this.

Mea culpa. I apologize deeply for my support of last election’s Democratic nominee for President. We have brought this horrible situation upon ourselves.

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