Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA expressed concern that President Obama once again insulted both Israel and the United States during Pres. Obama’s speech at former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ funeral last Friday. And, an ensuing “corrected” White House press release added further insult.
An initial White House press release issued early Friday morning with a transcript of the president’s speech properly listed the location of President Obama’s speech as “Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” About nine hours later, the White House issued what it called a “corrected” release, which crossed out the word “Israel” (with an actual line through the word “Israel”). The White House’s bizarre “correction” aptly resulted in headlines such as: “Obama Administration Says Israeli Founding Father Was Not Buried in Israel,” and “Wow. White House Sends Out ‘CORRECTED’ Version Of President’s Eulogy To Strike Out ‘Israel’ After ‘Jerusalem,’” and “Wow. Obama Gets Rid of Israel.” (Copies of the White House releases can be viewed at these linked articles.)
Mt. Herzl cemetery is located in the western part of Jerusalem – an area that has been part of the State of Israel since the nation’s rebirth. The Obama administration’s “corrected” release excising Jerusalem, and especially Mt. Herzl, from Israel, is simply wrong and hurtful.
Sadly, the Obama administration has repeatedly gone to similar extreme lengths to obliterate the reality of Israel’s rights and sovereignty. For instance, in the midst of the lawsuit concerning the U.S. State Department’s refusal to comply with U.S. law requiring the State Department to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to list “Jerusalem, Israel” on their U.S. passports, the Obama administration removed the word “Israel” from various White House websites that had previously used the phrase “Jerusalem, Israel.” See “After ZOA’s Supreme Court Amicus Brief In Jerusalem Passport Case Cited Many White House Web Site References To ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ – White House Suddenly Removes ‘Israel’” (Aug. 10, 2011). ZOA also documented that U.S. State Department condolence statements omit the Jewish and/or Israeli identity of victims of Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks and omit the Jewish and/or Israeli location of those attacks. See “ZOA: U.S. State Department’s Condolence Statements on Terrorist Attacks are Biased Against Israel and Jews,” (July 5, 2016). And the administration refuses to follow U.S. law requiring the U.S. Embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.
Remarkably, during his eulogy for Shimon Peres, President Obama also inappropriately made negative comments about both the country that he leads –– and the allied country where he was a guest, Israel – in one fell swoop, stating: “Both our nations have flaws that we have not always fixed, corners of our history which date back to our founding that we do not always squarely address.”
Israel’s founding – some 3,000 years ago – and its rebirth in 1948 were not “flawed.” Israel has made every effort to live in peace with its neighbors throughout the decades – from prior to Israel’s rebirth onwards – while Arab terrorists have sowed murder, pogroms, bombings and deadly intifadas on Israel’s Jewish population from prior to Israel’s rebirth to this day.