Obama’s Rosh Hashanah Message – No Reference To ‘Jews,’ ‘Judaism’ Or Jewish Contribution To U.S. – Unlike Ramadan Message, Praising Islam And Muslim Contribution
October 4, 2011


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has again raised the issue of President Barack Obama’s attitude towards Jews and Israel, following the latest presidential Rosh Hashanah Message, addressed strangely to “everybody,” and in which he never actually mentioned ‘Jews’ or ‘Judaism’ even once, referred to ‘Jewish tradition’ only once, and said nothing about the Jewish contribution to American life or anything else. (This is in stark contrast to President Obama’s August 2010 Ramadan Message, in which he referred to ‘Muslims’ six times and to ‘Islam’ twice, stated that “American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country,” and praised “Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings … a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”).


Instead, in his Rosh Hashanah Message, President Obama discussed chiefly general world developments. Even when referring to Israel, President Obama mentioned the “unshakable” bonds between it and the U.S. but spoke only of Israel “fac[ing] the uncertainties of an unpredictable age,” not Arab/Muslim terror and rejection. (‘Remarks by the President on the Occasion of Rosh Hashanah,’ September 27, 2011).


This is not the first time President Obama has spoken in such terms to Jews. In his Rosh Hashanah message last year, Obama only once referred to ‘Jews,’ not once to ‘Judaism,’ promoted a Palestinian state, and never mentioned the extraordinary contributions of Jews to the U.S. Also, in May 2010, when Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, he did not mention that Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, was beheaded by Islamist terrorists because he was a Jew and that he was forced to state in the video recorded of his gruesome murder that he was an American Jew. Instead, Obama merely referred to Pearl’s “loss.”


President Obama also omits referring to Israel when attacked by terrorists or in some positive context:


  • In the talking points provided by officials in several government agencies to the New York Times, the following statement appears, “As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world … We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London” (Thom Shanker & Eric Schmitt, ‘White House Issues Guides on Sept. 11 Observances,’ New York Times, August 29, 2011).



  • President Obama conspicuously omitted mention of Israel’s extraordinary contribution to relief efforts in the wake of Haiti’s terrible January 2010 earthquake. Although Israel’s relief efforts were exceptional, only matched by those of the United States, and were in fact singled out for praise by former President Bill Clinton, President Obama omitted any mention of Israel, saying instead  that “help continues to flow in, not just from the United States but from Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, among others” (‘President Obama’s Remarks After His Call with Haitian President Préval,’ White House Blog, January 15, 2010).



Also, President Obama’s anti-Israel bias has been demonstrated in many ways on numerous occasions:

·         While Obama has more or less consistently failed to hold accountable or penalize the PA for incitement to violence against Israel, he has been emphatic and repetitive attacking Jewish housing projects in eastern Jerusalem as an obstacle to peace – something the Obama Administration did again as recently as last week. His Administration has used the terms “condemn,” an “insult” and an “affront” when expressing disagreement with Israel on this issue, terms never used about other allies.

·         In a January 2010 interview, despite Israel’s acceptance in-principle of a Palestinian state, readiness to negotiate and instituting an unprecedented 10-month Jewish construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, Obama said Israel has made no “’bold gestures.”

·         In a March 2011 meeting with Jewish leaders (attended by Mort Klein), Obama contended that “Israel’s [Palestinian] partner is sincere in wanting a peaceful settlement,” while asking his Jewish interlocutors to “speak to your Israeli friends and relatives and search your souls to determine how badly do you really want peace … Israelis think this peace process is overrated.”

  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
    We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
    We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
    We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.