Hamodia—the nation’s only Jewish daily newspaper serving the Orthodox Jewish community—praised President Barack Obama in today’s editorial for his “immediate and effective” response to the attack on Israel’s embassy in Cairo. The editorial noted that Obama’s response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for aid is a clear demonstration of the strong alliance between the Obama Administration and Israel.
Hamodia expressed in the editorial, entitled “Thank You Mr. President,” “The Jewish community all over the world offers him [Obama] our heartfelt thanks.”
As thousands of rioters tore down a wall that had recently been built to protect the embassy, and then penetrated the building itself while Egyptian security forces stood by passively, Netanyahu, senior ministers and IDF commanders were pursuing a course of action. But their repeated attempts to reach Egyptian military head Mohamed Hussein Tantawi by telephone proved futile. Over and over again, they were told that Tantawi was unavailable, ‘too busy’ to come to the phone. Direct Israeli military intervention to rescue the besieged group was considered. However, realizing that such a drastic measure could lead to confrontation with Egyptian forces and endanger the peace treaty, they turned first to the United States.
President Barack Obama was not ‘too busy’ to answer the phone. On the contrary, his response was immediate and effective. Tantawi was soon reached, at 1:00 a.m. (Israel time), and told: ‘There’s no time to waste’ to avert a tragic outcome that ‘would have very severe consequences.’
In a statement issued afterwards, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his gratitude: ‘I asked for his help,’ said Netanyahu. ‘This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, “I will do everything I can.” And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude. This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States. This alliance between Israel and the United States is especially important in these times of political storms and upheavals in the Middle East.’ He also thanked the Egyptian commandos who were sent in to bring the Israeli guards out before it was too late.
Much has been made of the strained relations between Netanyahu and the White House in recent days; but in this test of standing by one’s allies in a matter of life and death, Barack Obama came through. He merited to be Hashem’s instrument of salvation. The Jewish community all over the world offers him our heartfelt thanks.