Obama's Controversial Rosh Hashanah Statement?

For some, even a Hallmark-style YouTube is cause for criticism

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Obama, in the clip above, offered a quick video statement wishing Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah this Saturday. Perfectly innocent and appropriate, right? Wrong! Some neoconservative bloggers considered it "shameful" and "hectoring condescension" to Jews. How, exactly?

  • The Subtle Political Message  Ben Smith read between the lines. "That first bit, as I read it, is a plea on behalf of the two-state solution; the second is an assurance that he's with Israelis and Jews against their enemies," he wrote. "The emphasis on 'the Jewish state' may be aimed at reassuring Bibi [Netanyahu], who has made much of Israel's identity."
  • The 'Shameless' Siding with Palestinians  Weekly Standard's Rachel Abrams slammed Obama for giving credence to Palestinians. Abrams said Obama should have more explicitly favored Israel, "which so cherishes human life it forces its soldiers to do everything humanly possible to avoid shedding the blood of the women and children behind whose skirts and baby carriages the enemy hides. ... The president of the United States joins the jackals, suggesting the Israelis have something to learn in the way of tolerance and empathy from him. Really, he has no shame."
  • He Should Have Kept Quiet  Powerline's Scott Johnson decried the "peculiar hectoring condescension," saying that he saw the statement as lecturing Jews. "An ancient Jewish adage holds: 'Even a fool, when he keepeth silence, is counted wise.' Obama could learn much from the Jewish tradition, if he would listen instead of lecture."
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