Today, President Obama released his annual Passover message – and, as usual, he used it as an opportunity for political grandstanding. Last year, Obama used his message to compare the Jewish exodus from Egypt with the Islamist Arab Spring. This year, Obama made no less than two veiled references to race – and one relatively clear one to racial profiling and by extension, Trayvon Martin.
Here’s the text:
The story of the Exodus is thousands of years old, but it remains as relevant as ever. Throughout our history, there are those who have targeted the Jewish people for harm – a fact we were so painfully reminded of just a few weeks ago in Toulouse. Just as throughout history, there have been those who have sought to oppress others because of their faith, ethnicity or color of their skin.
Aside from denying the unique nature of anti-Semitism, this paragraph is specifically designed to get to Obama’s main point: racial profiling happens! How we started at the exodus and moved to oppression based on color is anybody’s guess. But there can be little doubt that the timing of the Trayvon Martin case was on Obama’s mind here.
The reference wasn’t coincidental. Just two paragraphs later, Obama said this:
Once we have passed from bondage to liberty, how do we make the most of all that God has given us? This question may never be resolved, but throughout the years, the search for answers has deepened the Jewish people’s commitment to repairing the world, and inspired American Jews to help make our union more perfect. And the story of that first Exodus has also inspired those who are not Jewish with common hopes, and a common sense of obligation.
Get out your decoder ring. The key phrase here is “make our union more perfect.” Obama typically uses that phrase when discussing racial divisions in America. His famous race speech in 2008 in which he threw Jeremiah Wright under the bus, for example, was titled, “A More Perfect Union.”
So once again, Obama uses the opportunity of Passover to forward his narrative: America is racially divided, but working together, we can re-elect Barack Obama and fix things. In case you didn’t get that, the National Jewish Democratic Council ensures you understand – by rewriting the famous Four Questions of the Jewish Passover Haggadah to answer that troublesome Passover guest who thinks that Obama is bad for the Jews and Israel:
As Jews in the United States and around the world gather together to celebrate Passover, it is important that we reflect on the blessings and freedoms that we have as Jews living in a free society. One of those blessings is that we have a President deeply committed to the safety and security of Israel, and the welfare of all Americans–including the needy among us.
At many seders, the topic of politics will more than likely come up–often because one of the guests received one of the many false and malicious emails floating around the internet. That dinner guest should be replied to with these four questions …
Two of the questions, by the way, praise Obamacare. And the other two make no mention of Obama’s repeatedly undercutting Israel, including leaks from the Administration that prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. As Jonathan Toobin observes over at Commentary, “Such things show no respect for Judaism by trivializing the Exodus as merely an excuse for political rhetoric.”
But here’s the good news: Obama likes matzo ball soup!