On Tuesday, President Obama delivered brief remarks marking the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for repentance and reflection. An opportunity to reaffirm our friendships, renew our commitments, and reflect on the values we cherish.
As the High Holidays begin, we look back on all the moments during the past year that give us reason to hope. Around the world, a new generation is reaching for their universal rights. Here in the United States, we’ve responded to our challenges by focusing on the things that really matter – friendship, family, and community.
But this last year was also one of hardship for people around the world. Too many of our friends and neighbors continue to struggle in the wake of a terrible economic recession. And beyond our borders, many of our closest allies – including the State of Israel – face the uncertainties of an unpredictable age.
The highlighted sentence got me wondering what global movement was taking place encapsulating younger generations like never before. I may be looking at this from a short-sighted standpoint, but to me it seemed like the president was giving a slight nod to the revolutionary “Arab Spring” — a notion I thought was curious as it’s a movement catapulting Islamic extremists into positions of power in Middle Eastern countries surrounding Israel, including neighboring Egypt. As Billy noted, this movement reaching for “universal rights” in Egypt is having some pretty adverse effects which directly threaten the Israeli state.
On the other hand, Obama uses his Rash Hashanah remarks to also pay homage to our close ally, reaffirming our support for the Jewish state:
That is why my Administration is doing everything we can to promote prosperity here at home and security and peace throughout the world – and that includes reaffirming our commitment to the State of Israel. While we cannot know all that the New Year will bring, we do know this: the United States will continue to stand with Israel, because the bond between our two nations is unshakable.
As Jewish tradition teaches us, we may not complete the work, but that must never keep us from trying. In that spirit, Michelle and I wish you and your families and all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace.
So what do you think? Am I reading too much into this, or was the president tone-deafly linking the Arab Spring to this Jewish holiday? Let me know in the comments.