President Obama’s request to Congress for the use of force against the Islamic State singles out several ethnic groups threatened by ISIS, but oddly does not mention Jews — despite overt references to “Zionists” and “Jews” in ISIS literature and among ISIS leadership.
Though the document goes to great pains to single out the threat posed by ISIS to Iraqi Christians, Yezidis and Turkmens, it then leaves Jews conspicuously absent.
Freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin, the only Jewish Republican member of Congress, said the omission leapt off the page. “I see an understanding, a recognition in the resolution with regards to ISIS attacks on Muslims, on Christians and others, and I didn’t see a reference to Jews,” he told CNN.
“I think that when the White House is drafting a resolution for the authorization of force, that every single word, every phrase in there is done deliberately — it has to be.”
Monday, the president referred to a recent terror attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris as a “random” shooting of “a bunch of folks in a deli.”
“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” he told Vox.
Given the chance to clarify Obama’s remarks, White House press secretary Josh Earnest doubled down. “They were random people that happened to randomly be in the deli and were shot.”
Only later did Earnest admit — on Twitter — that the attack was anti-semitic in nature: “Our view has not changed. Terror attack at Paris Kosher market was motivated by anti-Semitism. POTUS didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.” (RELATED: Obama Admin Scrambles To Correct Obama Kosher Deli Gaffe)
The nation’s largest non-partisan Orthodox Jewish organization said in a statement Thursday the Paris attack was the culminations of months of rising anti-Semitism inspired by radical Islam.
“The AUMF will not only define what the President is authorized to do in combating ISIS, but why,” Nathan Diament, the group’s executive director, said in the statement. “And once the attacks of Islamic terrorists on innocents of other faiths are in the rationale, we would expect Congress to ensure that the final legislation include the terrorists’ targeting of Jews in that rationale.”
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