Now, related to this concern, in a Times Op-ed, Professor André Aciman reminds us all of a gaping omission on the part or President Obama from his Cairo speech.
The president never said a word about me. Or, for that matter, about any of the other 800,000 or so Jews born in the Middle East who fled the Arab and Muslim world or who were summarily expelled for being Jewish in the 20th century. With all his references to the history of Islam and to its (questionable) “proud tradition of tolerance” of other faiths, Mr. Obama never said anything about those Jews whose ancestors had been living in Arab lands long before the advent of Islam but were its first victims once rampant nationalism swept over the Arab world.The writer, who is professor of comparative literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and the author of the memoir “Out of Egypt” concludes with this brilliant understatement:
Nor did he bother to mention that with this flight and expulsion, Jewish assets were — let’s call it by its proper name — looted.
It is strange that our president, a man so versed in history and so committed to the truth, should have omitted mentioning the Jews of Egypt. He either forgot, or just didn’t know, or just thought it wasn’t expedient or appropriate for this venue. But for him to speak in Cairo of a shared effort “to find common ground ... and to respect the dignity of all human beings” without mentioning people in my position would be like his speaking to the residents of Berlin about the future of Germany and forgetting to mention a small detail called World War II.The president also forgot to mention the peace accord of Anwar Sadat and his subsequent assassination, chapters of history that were worthy of note for a statesman orating in Cairo about peace.
Mort Kondrake pointed this out immediately in a discussion that appeared on Fox:
The crowning missing ingredient in this entire speech, was any mention of Anwar Sadat. This is the 30th anniversary of Anwar Sadat, in Cairo, making peace with the Israelis. He should have said Anwar Sadat is a model for the entire Islamic world, especially the Arab world....And one more thing. We think instead of a perfunctory citation from the Babylonian Talmud (should he have called it the Iraqi Talmud?), it would have been more appropriate for Barack to cite a passage from the writings of Maimonides, a famous medieval Egyptian Jewish rabbi-physician, or perhaps for the president to cite from the Palestinian Talmud, thus confounding the entire world.