Let the Whispering Begin: Did Obama Diss Jews?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

James Besser in Washington

Only hours after President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, the Jewish right was buzzing about a perceived religious slur in his inaugural address.

In the ritual nod to religious inclusiveness, Obama said “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.”

The inclusion of “nonbelievers” was unprecedented in a nation whose politicians treat atheists as invisible, several analysts said, but it was the “Muslim” part that stuck in the craw of some Jewish activists.

“Didn’t it bother you – he put Muslims second, ahead of Jews?” asked an official with a right-of-center Jewish organization in a phone conversation with this reporter today.

There are more Jews than Muslims in America, this activist said – and besides, “ this is a Judeo-Christian country.”

Right-of-center circles are buzzing about the perceived insult, this activist said.

Could this be the start of a whole new whispering cmapaign about the new president’s religious inclinations?  Will the emails start flying? Stay tuned.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.