Once Again, John Kerry Ignores Jewish Victims of Terror

Jan. 13 2016

In November, after the Islamic State attack in Paris, the U.S. secretary of state distinguished it from the attack the previous January on the magazine Charlie Hebdo. The more recent one, he said, was “absolutely indiscriminate,” while the older one at least had a “rationale.” He pointedly omitted any reference to the murderous jihadist assault, two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, on the kosher supermarket in Paris. And now, writes Elliott Abrams, Kerry has done it again, with an official statement on the anniversary of the earlier attacks that mentions the targeting of journalists and cartoonists but says nothing about the targeting of Jews:

Kerry’s magic here: he made the Jews disappear. Once again he refers only to Charlie Hebdo and “journalists around the world.”

But on January 9, one year ago, four hostages at the kosher grocery were killed. They had been shopping before the Sabbath began, on a Friday afternoon.

It should not be too much for our secretary of state to take notice of them, too: people who became victims because they were Jews. The Paris attacks in January 2015 were not attacks against journalists and others; they were attacks on journalists and on Jews who were killed because they were Jews. That Kerry continues to make them disappear is disgraceful.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Anti-Semitism, Charlie Hebdo, Islamic State, John Kerry, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism

On Thanksgiving, Remember the Exodus from Egypt

Nov. 27 2020

When asked to design a Great Seal of the United States, Benjamin Franklin proposed a depiction of Moses at the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, while Thomas Jefferson suggested the children of Israel in the wilderness after departing Egypt. These proposals, writes Ed Simon, tapped into a venerable American tradition:

The Puritans from whom Franklin descended had been comparing their own arrival in the New World with the story of Exodus for more than a century. They were inheritors of a profoundly Judaic vision, melding the stories of the Hebrew scripture with their own narratives and experiences. . . .

For the Puritans, Exodus was arguably a model for understanding their own lives and history in a manner more all-encompassing and totalizing than for any other historical religious group, with the obvious exception of the Jews. . . . American Puritans and pilgrims like John Mather, John Winthrop, John Cotton, . . . and many others placed the Exodus at the center of their vision, seeing their own fleeing from an oppressive England and a Europe wracked by the Thirty Years’ War to an American “Errand Into the Wilderness” as a modern version of the Israelites’ escape into Canaan. . . . [Thus the] Exodus . . . has become indispensable in comprehending the wider American experience. Through the Puritans, the story of Exodus became a motivating script for all manner of American stories. . . .

We read its significance and prophetic power in accounts of slaves who escaped the cruelty of antebellum plantation servitude, and who crossed the Ohio River as if it were the Sea of Reeds. . . . We see it in photographs of the oppressed escaping pogroms and persecution in the Old World, and in the stories of later generations of refugees. Exodus is an indispensably Jewish story, but what more appropriate day than Thanksgiving, this most American and Puritan (and “Jewish”?) of holidays, to consider the role that that particular biblical narrative has had in defining America’s civil religion?

Read more at Tablet

More about: American founding, American Religion, Exodus, History & Ideas, Thanksgiving, Thomas Jefferson