|Rabbi Kalman Levine|
I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more. There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.The most obvious problem with this statement, of course, is the sickening implication that Jews in Israel are inciting violence and that they must limit their own human rights because Arabs react violently to Jews acting like equals.
But there are a couple of other problems with this statement that indicate a lack of respect by the President towards the American murder victims.
Obama (or his aides) chose to call Kalman Levine by a name that he hasn't used for at least three decades. Instead, he chose to call him by his birth name. (Kalman is a Yiddish name, probably from German.)
This would be no big deal, except that the President seemed to go out of his way to call Peter Kassig "Abdul Rahman" in his condemnation of his execution.
Is an American who converted to Islam while in captivity more deserving of being called by his Arabic name than a Jew to be called by the Jewish name he's used since 1982?
It is also interesting that Obama didn't bother to dignify the terror victims with the title "Rabbi." That is basic etiquette, and it is a glaring omission.
The President's statement shows a disgraceful lack of respect for the victims, for Rabbi Levine in particular, and for Israeli Jews altogether.