A reader who wishes not to be named, as he toils behind enemy lines—at a university—emails with a good question. It's about this statement by President Obama in his speech at Adas Israel synagogue last Friday:
"And it is precisely because I care so deeply about the state of Israel -- it’s precisely because, yes, I have high expectations for Israel the same way I have high expectations for the United States of America -- that I feel a responsibility to speak out honestly about what I think will lead to long-term security and to the preservation of a true democracy in the Jewish homeland."
Our friend asks: "But if President Obama holds Jews in the Middle East to a particularly high standard, doesn't that perhaps imply that he holds Arabs to a lower standard? I'm no expert on the subject, but isn't that a form of Orientalism? Isn't Obama implicitly saying that one can't expect too much from non-Jews in the Middle East?"
Our friend adds a p.s.: "Reading Obama's words, for some reason I hear Groucho telling Margaret Dumont how much he cares for her."