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December 11, 2015 1:10 pm

Rivlin’s Cringe-Worthy White House Visit

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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U.S. President Barack Obama looks on as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin lights the Hanukkah menorah at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Reuven Rivlin via Twitter.

U.S. President Barack Obama looks on as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin lights the Hanukkah menorah at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Reuven Rivlin via Twitter.

Ahead of his visit to the White House on Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin published an op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “What Israel should do to lay the groundwork for peace.”

As its title suggests, the piece is a blueprint for measures Rivlin thinks the Jewish state should take to make life better for all the people involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even in the absence of a “current viable solution.”

Referring to this as the “tragedy that envelops us all” — rather than a perpetual war waged by the Palestinian Authority against the Jewish state — Rivlin writes that though “there is no diplomatic process underway, and no indication of imminent negotiations,” Israel is “duty-bound to recognize where and how we can take effective action to improve the prospect that we will be able to live together.”

He fails to point out that every time we Israelis do this, we have to spend our days and nights trying to “take effective action” to stay alive, with all the missiles, bombs, guns, knives, Molotov cocktails and rocks being flung our way.

But this doesn’t matter, of course, because Rivlin’s real aim was to “lay the groundwork for peace” with U.S. President Barack Obama. Indeed, our state’s figurehead was determined to get a pat on the head by the dangerous lame duck in Washington with enough remaining power to continue to wreak havoc on the world through the very same attitude expressed in Rivlin’s article.

And it worked, as praise from the Hebrew press indicates.

Yes, the anti-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu media in Israel stressed that Rivlin was greeted with more warmth from Obama than Netanyahu ever received. The two presidents even lit Hanukkah candles together.

Well, that particular bonding moment gave Rivlin the perfect opportunity to engage in cringeworthy behavior. He actually likened Obama to the “shamash” in the menorah, the “leader with which you light the other candles. You have been lighting the candles for seven years to show your people and the world the right way — we’re sure that the eighth candle you will light next year will show the world how to walk in light.”

If Rivlin was hinting at the light from Islamist rocket-launches and nuclear fission, he might have been on to something. But, of course, he was not. Their nauseating display was designed to reiterate that Muslims are peace-loving victims of a few rotten apples and to perpetuate the myth that financial strain is behind terrorism.

Rivlin actually says this in his piece: “It is worth understanding that the Israeli right has long ignored the eastern part of [Jerusalem] for reasons of internal political differences, while the left has equally neglected investing in the need for infrastructure to serve the 300,000 Palestinians of the city as part of an ideology of political separation from the Palestinians. … Does anyone think that dealing with the sewage, roads, schools and medical centers of eastern Jerusalem can or should wait until the end of the conflict? Is there anyone who thinks the consequences of these economic disparities in the city will stop at genuine or fictitious political borders?”

Obama couldn’t have agreed more.

The official White House “readout” about Rivlin’s visit said, “The leaders discussed their mutual concern about the ongoing violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel, and the importance of Israeli and Palestinian leaders taking steps to reduce violence and restore calm through both action and rhetoric.”

It is bad enough that the president of the United States holds Israel responsible for the daily attempted slaughter of — and genocidal pronouncements against — Jews by Palestinian perpetrators. But for the Israeli president to accept and spread this vile fallacy is appalling beyond belief. It is certainly a far cry from the Hanukkah miracle we were supposed to be celebrating.

Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner ( This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • theo

    What is it with Israeli presidents There seems to be a mental deficiency and a cringing posture to outside leaders which is as destructive as it is politically insane for the national good
    This man should also be gently put to pasture

  • John Stefanyszyn

    President Rivlin’s purpose was to get a commitment for more money, more weapons, and more support from President Obama since Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to do so. He pronounced Jewish flatteries, lighted Hanukkah candles, sang a song (made Obama laugh), and promised acknowledgement of ‘legacy’,……and even confessed that Israel (as an adulterous prostitute) believes in the FREEDOM and right, human right, to worship ANY ‘god’.

    He even daringly and self-righteously corrected Obama’s reference to Israelis as Jews, to which Rivlin at one point stopped him and said, “Mr. President, say Israelis,” adding: “There are 8 million citizens in Israel and they are not all Jews. Two million of them are Arabs. If they want to define themselves as Palestinian Israelis, that is their right.”
    …But President Obama, who knows better, used the proper reference since Netanyahu desires Israel to be a ‘Jewish State’.

    After all was said and done, President Rivlin left the customer as a salesman without a sale, desperately holding onto a customer’s promise of “I’ll think it over”, knowing in his gut that the customer is not going to buy his pitch.

    Israel walks at the heels of President Obama, leader of the free world, king of the north, and his hand is being stretched out against Israel.

    President Obama believes in FREEDOM for each and every individual…FREEDOM for the Israelis & FREEDOM for the Palestinians….and FREEDOM for ANY ‘god’ to be worshipped.

    BUT Very soon, the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the One and Only God, will return, as a thief in man’s eyes (unexpected, unwelcome), to rule the earth in power and obedience as the One King according to the Will of the One Creator Who is Good and NOT according to man’s first love for “his freedom”, for his desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).
    …and man will weep and clench his teeth in anger when his freedom will be no more.

  • Paul

    You keep waving the right-wing flag, vilifying everyone who opposes your amazing belief that more-of-the-same will make things better.
    Under right-wing leadership, things have gone from bad to worse. The right wing keep accusing the leftists for everything that goes wrong (and to call a person leftist has become equivalent to a curse). Despite the right wing being in leadership almost continuously for the past 40 years !!!!!
    Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Every time their bumbling stupid policy gets worse outcomes, the right-wingers blame the left wing. Will the right never learn ? Is it true that the left-wing, who has scarcely held power for the last 40 years, can be responsible for everything that is going wrong ? If the Left are so powerful and the right so powerless against the left – we should let the left take power !!! What is the point of a government who claims a minority actually calls all the shots ? How much damage must occur before the right-wing begins to understand that their way leads down to destruction of the Jewish state ?
    The authr of this article is a tool in the hands of Bibi’s personal media outlet. Only those who play the right tune can thrive there !!!

  • Let’s give Ruby a break. There is no love lost between him and Bibi, so he’s venting his anger at Bibi. The fact that it hurts Israel’s image he’s too angry to see. As for Obama, we’ll soon be rid of him. Let’s hope a Republican wins the White House, because Hillary will be as bad, if not worse, than Obama.

  • Peter

    I say thus with love and hope for both sides. Stop the occupation. Occupation and peace will not go together. The borders are already known. You cannot insist on peace if you continue to occupy.

  • albert snow

    Rivlin is acting disgacefully licking the a.. of Obamas, in the same way as when he did the same with Erdogan when he nixed to admit the turks muslims genocide on christians was a genocide but instead called it a massmurder.

    I think Rivlin is a disgrace.

  • montlasky

    With a “friendly” president like we have, who needs enemies!
    Hamas and the boys are laughing all the all the way to the AlAqsa mosque

  • susan

    And then to be subjected to the rant by a Jewish BDS-activist and anti-Israel Jewish woman during the lighting ceremony. . . has Rivlin no honor? no pride? no guts?

  • steven L

    Fifteen percent of Americans are dirt poor. They should get into acts of violence and they will get the support of this US Adm and Rivlin!!!!
    There are millions of poor all over the world. They should all get involved in violence!!!
    Happy Hanukkah.

  • I agree with the Prime Minister, there should not be a two state solution. The Arab Nations have more land than Israel ever could. If israel had kept the land she won in the last war, that might have been a different story. Although I think Israel should have kept it.

  • Howard Wohl

    Do we have to be continually bombarded by attacks on those Jewish leaders and our American president for daring to point out Israel’s flaws. Simply reflexively scoffing at anything that punctures the myth of the Jewish State’s being perfect. Yes the Palestine Authority has been atrocious, with beating the drums with blood libels. But Israel has flaws including its failure to treat all citizens equally. That includes Jews who are under the thumb of a scandalous ultra-orthodox monopoly that forces the government to pay for their indolence. And for a democracy to claim that Arabs and other non-Jews are not entitled to equal treatment makes a mockery of Israel’s claims. So, too, the government’s failure to rein in the Settlers who have taken the law into their own hands is disgusting. So beat up on Israel’s and the American presidents. If you care about morality, Torah and the Jewish People you might reconsider your outrageous comments. And this the Algermeiner thinks is worthy?