At least this time the Israeli Prime Minister had the good sense to thank President Obama for his help rescuing Israeli diplomats from a Cairo mob. Ben Smith:
Given the chatter today about the friction around Obama's handling of Israel and how it plays in the New York Congressional race, it's worth noting that the weekend included an unusually strong moment in the relationship, when President Obama pushed Egypt's leaders to rescue Israeli diplomats trapped in their Cairo embassy.
The politically conservative, Orthodox paper Hamodia editorialized (no link):President Barack Obama was not "too busy" to answer the phone. On the contrary, his response was immediate and effective. Tantawi was soon reached, at 1:00 a.m. (Israel time), and told: "There's no time to waste" to avert a tragic outcome that "would have very severe consequences."
In a statement issued afterwards, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his gratitude: "I asked for his help," said Netanyahu. "This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, 'I will do everything I can.' And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude. This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States. This alliance between Israel and the United States is especially important in these times of political storms and upheavals in the Middle East." He also thanked the Egyptian commandos who were sent in to bring the Israeli guards out before it was too late.
Much has been made of the strained relations between Netanyahu and the White House in recent days; but in this test of standing by one's allies in a matter of life and death, Barack Obama came through. He merited to be Hashem's instrument of salvation. The Jewish community all over the world offers him our heartfelt thanks.
Meriting to be Hashem's instrument of salvation (HaShem, literally, "the name," is the way many Jews refer to God) is, as they say, a pretty big deal. Obama can bank that one for Florida.
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