The Washington Post and other sources have reported on a regrettable tweet dispatched—and then withdrawn—by Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, who is married to Israel’s deputy prime minster, Silvan Shalom. She is also is a prominent media personality in her own right. The despicable tweet was as follows:
“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak.”
One laments this racialist and decadent lapse.
Ms. Shalom Nir-Mozes apologized for, and deleted, the post—after a wave of criticism. No wonder: the unfortunate message was as revealing as it was, by her own admission, “stupid.” The underlying implication of this folly is more than stupid. It is yet another destructive act or statement in the unraveling of the once-lauded black-Jewish political alliance.
Exactly because I love Israel, I so lament this racialist and decadent lapse by yet another prominent Israeli. Shameful! And the sentiment is hardly unknown among regular Israeli citizens. Many people in the Jewish state had issues with the foreign policy of President George H. W. Bush. The elder Bush had as thorny a relationship with the-then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir as President Obama has with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The clashes between Bush Sr. and Shamir hardly disintegrated into repugnant personal and ethnic slurs. The disagreements that many of us have with President Obama over his nuclear appeasement of Iran do not give us license to indulge in this kind of racial licentiousness. One is mortified by this coffee joke; it is colored with contempt and elitism and has nothing whatsoever to do with Israel’s historic narrative following the Holocaust.
When I lived in as a child in Israel, I learned the national creation story that sprung from “the ingathering of the exiles.” Everyone was welcome and equal. My own parents were soldiers in that postwar saga. My birth land was the manifestation of merciful inclusiveness and social parity—in direct response to the horror of Nazi/Ayran, genocidal supremacy. How is it possible that the ruling elite of the State of Israel, their legitimate security concerns notwithstanding, can treat the President of the United States with such degradation?
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was deeply affected by his discovery of the Nazi death camps at the end of the war. Yet he jolted Israel during the 1956 Suez War. People did not celebrate this in the Jewish state and they remember it with some bitterness. But “Ike” has rarely been eviscerated on a personal basis in Jewish quarters.
Richard M. Nixon was, without question, a reckless anti-Semite. Yet he is extolled as Israel’s savior in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War—transferring desperately needed armaments to Israel just as it was about to be overrun and by Egyptian and Syrian forces.
From the moment that President Harry S. Truman unilaterally recognized the new State of Israel in May, 1948, the United States has remained Israel’s unequivocal and indispensable ally—and been rewarded with Israel’s explicit friendship and strategic support.
This is not the time for Israelis to drink the bitter coffee of ingratitude. Nor for Jews in general to stir such a toxic brew. Especially when the cup is so tainted with racism.