Dateline Washington


By Geoffrey Paul
May 3, 2011
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Just as those who were around at the time recall where they were when Kennedy was assassinated, folks here in Washington DC are already exchanging details of where they were when they heard of the Osama bin Laden assassination. Most it seems were already in bed (a vast amount of US TV viewing seems to be done in a prone position) but quickly aroused themselves when they heard the President was to make an unprecedented near-midnight address to the nation. There's no question about the boost the killing of bin Laden has given his prestige. His re-election seems almost guaranteed, unless the Republicans find a strong (non-female) candidate to put up against him and there is no sign of this to-date. Many American Jews, specially on the religious right where support for Likud is solid, are concerned that a strengthened Obama,relying on his national popularity,will feel emboldened to pressure Israel for a deal with Fatah (now, possibly, Fatah-Hamas) which will be unsafe for Israel. Obama was already so unpopular among some Orthodox Jewish groups that congregations with which they pray have, quietly and unofficially, dropped recitation of the prayer for the President. While they most certainly applaud the political and military risk that Obama took in authorising the bin Laden operation, they are unlikely to be sporting the favourite tee-shirt of the day which proclaims the widespread delight that "Obama Got Osama!"

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Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:40

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The contrast between the scenes of rejoicing in the US and the complete indifference in London (at least in the streets) could not have been greater. It's as if Londoners had completely forgotten both about 9/11 in New York and about what happened here on 7 July 2005.

Or is there another reason maybe ....


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:48

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...Or perhaps we are less emotional than the Yanks.


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 14:29

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As Jews we are enjoined not to rejoice at the downfall of our enemies. I would cite the fact that only on the first day of Passover do Orthodox Jews recite Hallel in full form and in shortened form on the other days of the festival in deference to the Egyptians who perished at the Red Sea.
As to the re-election of Obama a week is a long time in politics. Eradicating the scourge of Bin laden will not cure the economic problems in the US and being a materialistic society that is going to weigh much heavier with the elctorate than the killing of one terrorist however much wanted he was.


Joe Millis

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 14:37

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As Jews, we are also enjoined, בנפל אויביך אל תשמח ובכשלו אל יגל לבך׃

Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles...

Or did you miss the lesson about Mishlei 24:17?


Advis3r

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:02

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I am sorry did I miss something?

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