Michael Melchior

Finally, I can say it: I’m happy about Obama

Celebrating the vote for human dignity, equality, and social solidarity

As a public figure in Israel, I was hesitant, until now, to express an opinion regarding the US election. I think that it is inappropriate for people in the public sphere to intervene with the democratic processes in countries that are not their own.

However, after all is said and done, we got up this morning (even though I had no sleep at all because of mounting apprehension) with crucial elections behind us – not only for the US but also for the rest of the world, and yes also for us here in Israel.

Personally, I am delighted by the re-election of Barack Obama, not least because the best indication for evaluating the outcome is derived from looking around and seeing who is happy and who is sad this morning.

When the people who are happy are the people with whose values I can identify, the people who raise the banner of human dignity, equality, and social solidarity, then I know it’s a time to rejoice.

I pray that Obama will succeed in the immense challenge of fighting poverty, unemployment, and social insecurity while stabilizing the economic and financial situation, without indebting the future generations.

I pray that the success Obama has had in creating a coalition of sanctions against Iran will be efficient in stopping the nuclear threat from that rogue state.

I pray that Obama will restore his belief, together with Israelis and Palestinians, that peace is not only necessary, but also possible.

I pray that all of the hopes that Obama instilled today will materialize and endure.

God bless us all.

About the Author
Rabbi Michael Melchior is a leading advocate for social justice in Israel, education for all, Jewish-Arab reconciliation and co-existence, protection of the environment, and Israel-Diaspora relations. Through his work, Rabbi Melchior seeks to strengthen Israeli civil society so it may catalyze significant social change in the State of Israel. He was a member of Knesset for the Meimad Party. Rabbi Melchior continues to hold the title of Chief Rabbi of Norway.