Friday, June 05, 2009

Today We Were All Jewish-- Obama At Buchenwald


A couple of days ago, primitive and barbaric jihadi Ayman al-Zawahiri sought to denigrate President Obama by calling him a Jew. "Obama's message to the Muslim World was delivered when he visited the Wailing Wall, with the Jewish skullcap on his head, when he performed the Jewish prayers despite claiming that he is Christian." Today, standing with Buchenwald survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Weisel, Obama was a Jew-- more so than any American president before him.
“To this day there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened, a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful,” the President said, echoing his words in Cairo in an address that reached for what he called a “new beginning” in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.

By visiting Buchenwald on Friday, he also underscored what he termed in Cairo America’s “unbreakable” bond with Israel. Mr. Obama has been pushing hard during this trip for a two-state solution in the Middle East, and the administration has angered some in Israel by taking a tough stand against Israel’s expanding existing settlements.

In his visit to the former concentration camp, Mr. Obama said the site was the “ultimate rebuke” to those who deny or seek to minimize the Holocaust.

“These sights have not lost their horror with the passage of time.”

“More than half a century later, our grief and our outrage over what happened have not diminished. I will not forget what I have seen here today.”

As I watched Obama at Buchenwald with Weisel this morning-- and heard them each speak-- many emotions coursed through me and I couldn't help but weep, well-knowing that had my great-grandparents not decided to leave Europe for America I would certainly have not been born. I felt great pride in my country's president standing there and speaking with such utter and unapologetic moral clarity.

I cried yesterday too-- but those were very different tears. I linked to a video that infuriated me. I didn't want to put it up at DWT then and I'm still reluctant to do so. But watching Obama and Weisel today, hearing their powerful and unmistakable words, decided the matter for me. Like me, most Israelis-- if not the right-wing Likud fanatics-- favor not just a freeze on settlements in Arab lands, but an evacuation of these illegal and immoral settlements. Even more so than the banal partisan hatred expressed so very, very characteristically by Karl Rove and so very, very appropriately on Fox News-- a latter day vision of Joseph Goebbels on the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter-- this video illustrates what Obama meant when he said, rather startlingly, "And just as we identify with the victims, it's also important for us I think to remember that the perpetrators of such evil were human, as well, and that we have to guard against cruelty in ourselves." That was the moment I decided to embed this repulsive and disgusting and embarrassingly infuriating video:

Rather than say good night with that as the last thought of the day, here are a few more uplifting thoughts from President Obama today that, no doubt, will be twisted and vilified by America-hating scum like Rove and al-Zawahiri tomorrow:
[T]o this day, there are those who perpetuate every form of intolerance -- racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more -- hatred that degrades its victims and diminishes us all. In this century, we've seen genocide. We've seen mass graves and the ashes of villages burned to the ground; children used as soldiers and rape used as a weapon of war. This places teaches us that we must be ever vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time, that we must reject the false comfort that others' suffering is not our problem and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate others to serve their own interests.

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At 8:01 PM, Anonymous john paul said...

Obama's Presidency will be remembered as the Presidency of the golden rule.


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