Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barry Rubin: Obama's Passover Message Misses The Message of Passover

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

By Barry Rubin

There's some controversy about President Barack Obama's Passover message. The key passage is this:

“The story of Passover…instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. This year that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Ironically, of course, Israelis and Jews who support that country generally see that transformation as being in a negative direction from their standpoint and the forces being liberated involving a good deal of anti-Jewish ones.

I think the greater problem here is the endless universalizing of specifically Jewish experiences that are never seen as sufficient in their own right, as well as the basic opportunism of making Passover into an event backing Obama Administration policy.

But a peculiar personal experience of mine has given this controversy a special meaning for me.
Continue reading: Obama's Passover Message Misses The Message of Passover

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press later this year. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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