Diary

Touro in the Shadow of Cairo

Obama will be speaking to the Islamic world from Cairo, Egypt.  The Washington Times reported on some of the spin and the criticism surrounding this speech in Obama’s speech in Egypt to reach out to Muslims.  Elliott Abrams’ concerns regarding the struggle of some Egyptians for freedom are important to note.  Ayman Nour has refused to attend the speech.

On May 9th, I read this post by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs in which other concerns are presented; concerns that should never be lost or forgotten in the vortex of spin:  Obama, Make One Stop Before the Muslim Capital.  In it she linked to a column written by Andrew Bostom for The American Thinker on February 8th:

Mr. Obama, Speak First at Touro

At the time of Mr. Bostom’s column, Cairo had already been discussed as a possible venue for this speech.

In the article he discusses and documents the hatred of Jews taught and fomented in Egypt. He closes by presenting a contrasting visit–that of George Washington to the Touro Synagogue and the subsequent correspondence.  He then writes:

Contemporary American Jewry has expressed with even greater intensity the “fervent wishes” for President Obama’s “felicity,” as their forebears did in praise of President George Washington. Will President Obama exhibit George Washington’s moral clarity and reassure contemporary Jews he is committed to their liberty and security, which is now gravely threatened by global jihadism?

Mr. Obama, before your planned speech in a Muslim capital, I urge you to address the world’s Jewish community, and condemn the jihad-inspired antisemitic violence fomented by esteemed Islamic religious institutions, including notably, Cairo’s Al Azhar University. And I can suggest the ideal venue-redolent with American history-where you should make this statement: Touro, America’s first Jewish synagogue, located in Newport, in my beloved home state of Rhode Island.

We know now that Obama will not be speaking first at Touro.  Ironically, although the speech will be given at Cairo University, Al Azhar University is a co-host.

Mr. Bostom also includes this information:

(i.e., recent Pew Data indicating the number of US Muslims are half, or less, the number of US Jews)

Related to this post, Power Line has a preview by Ronald and Allis Radosh of their new book released on May 12th:

A Safe Haven:  Harry S. Truman and The Founding of Israel.

If you are not familiar with the history of Touro Synagogue, please read these links from Andrew Bostom:

George Washington’s lasting gift to generations of Jews

Address to the President from the Hebrew Congregation

GW’s Reply to the Hebrew Congregation

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H/T:  The Washington Times, The Spectator, Atlas Shrugs, The American Thinker, The Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Sun-Times, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Power Line, The Papers of George Washington.

Crossposted to J’s Cafe Nette and previously in a modified format to Be John Galt.