While anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout the global world, and in particular, the European Union, the Leader of the Free World has elected to claim that one of the most traumatic anti-Semitic attacks to date was a random attack “on a bunch of folks at a deli”. Such a declaration confused me, considering the President, only a few weeks ago, had stated, “Anti-Semitic attacks like the recent terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris pose a threat that extends beyond the Jewish community.” Obama’s ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power reiterated the President’s statement, “all four [victims] were casualties of violent anti-Semitism–targets because they were Jews.” Although, perhaps that was only because the French President had claimed the same first, or perhaps it was because the terrorist himself had told reporters by phone, “I have 16 hostages and I have killed four, and I targeted them because they were Jewish.” Therefore, it is confusing that President Obama would backtrack, calling the Jewish population, a bunch of folks, and anti-Semitic attacks, random targets.
Would President Obama state that just a random bunch of folks are leading the world in technology, battery development, medical research, and water sustainability? Is it a random bunch of folks, which comprise roughly 1/4 of all Nobel Prizes presented to date though we comprise only .1% of the global population? Are these the same random folks that are setting up field hospitals for Syrian refugees, sending doctors worldwide to offer free heart surgery to children in need, and yet facing anti-Semitic assaults on vacation in Argentina? Is it so random when a synagogue is attacked that the German justice system can get away with calling the anti-Semitic attack a pro-Palestinian protest?
Across the world, Jews are once again the targets of aggression, though I struggle to use the phrase “once again”. In fact, the scapegoating of the Jewish population, undermining of Jewish rights, and attacks on Jewish property, are no stranger to the Jewish people. From the time of the Romans when the Jews were subjugated as slaves, to the Nazis in Germany and Europe where the Jews held the blame for economic woes and could thus be sentenced to the death, Jews across the world have always lived looking over their shoulder, fearful that yet another anti-Semitic attack will befall us.
In what world is it acceptable that while walking down the street a rabbi can be attacked in New York City? Is it reasonable that during prayer, 4 rabbis are were cleaved to death or that while hiking Kay Wilson was brutally attacked by Palestinian-Arabs on the Israel national trail? Is it justifiable that while vacationing in Argentina, Israelis on vacation became the victim of a fire based attack or that while driving down a disputed road, a child was firebombed with her father. Is it reasonable to expect that while walking down the streets in Paris, a Jewish girl would be pepper-sprayed and attacked or that in Germany, a neo-Nazi party requested the homes, addresses, and businesses of all Jewish residents? The list of anti-Semitic atrocities in the past few years could go on to fill books. Once again, the European Union just recently stated that anti-Semitic attacks have until this past year, never been seen in such a great number (other than during the Holocaust). The fact that President Obama cannot admit the truth of these attacks is disgraceful.
Furthermore, rather than choosing to rectify the President’s statement, the ever articulate Jen Psaki attempted to end the line of questioning addressing anti-Semitism. In her response to a question regarding the President’s statement, Ms. Psaki failed to even once use the words Jewish or Kosher. Instead, she discussed, “a particular nation” and a random grocery market. The shooter at the Kosher supermarket admitted his anti-Semitic goals, and he swore allegiance to the terror group, Daesh. Rather than take the terrorist for his own word, or even for his actions, Jen Psaki, and the entire State Department, attempted to placate the situation the President put himself in.
President Obama should be ashamed. The President must learn to call a spade a spade. I knew that I could always count on the BBC and CNN to call an anti-Semitic attack random, but I had at least a miniscule amount more faith in the President. That faith is gone.
President Obama does not represent me, he does not represent the Jewish population, and some would go so far to say that he no longer represents America.
President Obama represents a rapidly dwindling “bunch of random folks”.