Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
President Obama celebrated the values of communities petitioning government at a White House reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month.
“We don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country; we also look toward the future,” he said. “And as we do, I know that those of you in this room, but folks all across this country will continue to help perfect our union; and for that, I am extraordinarily grateful.”
Obama focused a large portion of his remarks on the 150th anniversary of an order that was issued by General Ulysses Grant, which expelled Jews “as a class” from the military department of Tennessee.
“It was wrong. Even if it was 1862, even if official acts of anti-Semitism were all too common around the world, it was wrong and indicative of an ugly strain of thought,” Obama said.
He went on to note that American Jews protested the order.
“What happened next could have only taken place in America,” he said. “Groups of American Jews protested General Grant’s decision.”
He described how a Jewish merchant from Kentucky who met with President Abraham Lincoln and following the meeting, the order was revoked.
“Like so many groups, Jews have had to fight for their piece of the American dream,” Obama said. “But this country holds a special promise: that if we stand up for the traditions we believe in and in the values we share, then our wrongs can be made right; our union can be made more perfect and our world can be repaired.”
The order by Lincoln to revoke Grant’s order was on display during the reception, as were letters from two Jewish groups asking for the revocation.
Years later, as president, Grant stated that he recognized his mistake and would apologize for the order, and a receipt for contribution to the Adas Israel congregation – which still exists – after attending an 1876 service was also on display.
President Obama opened his remarks by thanking Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren for “his work representing our great friend, the state of Israel” before emphasizing the significance of the U.S. commitment to Israel.
“Beyond our borders, we have to stand alongside our friends who share our commitment to freedom and democracy and universal rights; and that includes, of course, our unwavering commitment to the State of Israel and its security and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace,” Obama said in his remarks.
A number of Jewish members of Congress were present at the reception, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-N.V.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal. But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are […]
The Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.
“Keep or Cheat,” under this deal Iran will attain nuclear weapons, Bibi warned.
Arabs threw 2 firebombs at bus #160 in Gush Etzion on Tuesday evening. No injuries or damage were reported, but the road was temporarily blocked by a wall of fire. In the Shomron, Arabs threw a firebomb at an unmanned pillbox, from a passing car.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Inbar Azrak, 27 who was wounded in Monday night’s firebomb attack in Beit Hanina. Azrak is being treated at the Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center in Jerusalem.
The worst heat wave to hit the Middle East in more than a decade has claimed its second victim in Israel.
The non-Jewish tourist tried to wave an Israeli flag when he was set upon by the Islamic mob.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon says he’s ready to present the new state budget to the cabinet Wednesday.
Minister Yuval Steinitz says “if he were American he would oppose the deal with Iran” and explains why.
A German neo-Nazi politician is accepted to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
The Obama administration may intervene in the NY federal district court judgment against the PA.
The Maccabi Games made it to Berlin but anti-Semitism was hardly left behind.
George Soros, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg have plopped down at least $1 million to Clinton’s super PAC.
The long-planned and long-delayed high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is getting closer Israel Railways has begun to lay tracks for the western section of the line in the Ayalon Valley, west of Jerusalem. The target date for launching passenger train on the new line is January 2018, 17 years after construction began. The […]
The Home Front Command for the first time has deployed female soldiers to guard the front lines in Shechem in Samaria.
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-celebrates-jewish-petitioning-of-government/2012/05/31/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: