Some of you get this page emailed to you at 6am every morning. There’s a button at the very bottom of this page that allows you to sign up for that. (It’s a little clunky, but generally seems to work.) Once in a while – like yesterday – I will resend the column as I realize I’ve botched something, or could improve or update something. So if you find two, let alone three, such emails in your inbox, please just read the most recent one.
ISRAEL – II
Jewish Americans have many reasons to vote Democratic, the most important being tikkun olam – a commitment to ‘heal the world.’ But add to that Obama’s terrific support for Israel, bullet-pointed yesterday.
Now comes the cover of New York Magazine showing the President wearing a yarmulke with the cover line: ‘The First Jewish President.’ Here is the very favorable story. In small part:
. . . Again and again, when Israel has been embroiled in international dustups-over its attack last year on a flotilla filled with activists headed from Turkey to Gaza, to cite but one example-the White House has had Israel’s back. The security relationship between the countries, on everything from intelligence sharing to missile-defense development to access to top-shelf weapons, has never been more robust. And when the Cairo embassy was seized and Netanyahu called to ask for Obama’s help with rescuing the last six Israelis trapped inside the building, the president not only picked up the phone but leaned hard on the Egyptians to free those within. “It was a decisive moment,” Netanyahu recalled after the six had been freed. “Fateful, I would even say.”
All of which raises an interesting, perplexing, and suddenly quite pressing question: How, exactly, did Obama come to be portrayed, and perceived by many American Jews, as the most ardently anti-Israel president since Jimmy Carter? . . .
Today marks the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our rules, regulations and politics reflect the repeal guidance issued by the Department of Defense and will apply uniformly without regard to sexual orientation, which is a personal and private matter.
For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our Soldiers are the most agile, adaptable and capable warriors in history — and we are ready for this change …
☞ The Washington Post reports: “. . . [E]ven when repeal seemed within reach, success was anything but assured. It only came after a nearly pitch-perfect effort by Obama and the military leadership to create the political conditions necessary to bring about repeal, as well as well as some very shrewd public and private gamesmanship by Senate leaders that left GOP moderates with little choice but to do the right thing. It will be endlessly debated whether Obama and Dems did this in response to outside pressure, but the fact is, they did it.”
Quote of the Day
On Hollywood Squares, gay comedy writer Bruce Vilanch was asked: You are the most popular fruit in America. What are you? His answer: Humble. (The correct answer? Banana.)~.
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