Did editorial distort Obama's words?

To quote former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "You are entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts." The Augusta Chronicle's distorted and scurrilous editorial ("Preposterous on Passover," April 25) fits the quote to a tee.

 

I wonder which right-wing blog gave The Chronicle the information that in his message that "he (Obama) compared the feast (the term should be Seder) which commemorates the Israelites' hard won deliverance out of slavery to the recent uprisings in the Arab world." The problem for The Chronicle is that he never said that and what he said was not even close to that.

Obama said in his weekly address ("President Obama extends holiday greeting," April 3): "This is a week of faithful celebration. On Monday and Tuesday nights, Jewish families and friends in the United States and around the world will gather for a Seder to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of hope and perseverance over injustice and oppression. On Sunday, my family will join other Christians all over the world in marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ." "And while we worship in different ways, we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all-Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike."

Obama said April 23: "This is the time of year when people get together with family and friends to observe Passover and celebrate Easter. It's a chance to give thanks to our blessings and reaffirm our faith, while spending time with the people we love."

The words of The Chronicle are not fact. Nowhere does the word "Arab" appear in his speech oral or written. Further, The Chronicle juried up the concept that Obama equates the Seder meaning to foment the Palestinians going against Israel.

Someone at The Chronicle should read the Haggadah, the order of the Seder, which says when we welcome Elijah with an open door. The open door symbolizes for us, the men and women who seek freedom from injustice and inequities, the doors must open for all that they may know freedom, equality and justice.

This was written thousands of years ago.

Lowell Greenbaum

Augusta

(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)

This is the complete text of President Obama's April 15 Passover message, as referenced in The Chronicle's April 25 editorial:

"My family and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating the sacred festival of Passover.

"On Monday evening, Jewish families and their friends in America, Israel and around the world will gather around the Seder table and retell the story of the Exodus, one of the most powerful stories of suffering and redemption in history. The story of Passover -- which recalls the passage of the children of Israel from bondage and repression to freedom and liberty -- inspires hope that those oppressed and enslaved can become free. The Seder, with its rich traditions and rituals, instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails.

"This year, that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa. Against the backdrop of change, we continue to pray for peace between Israel and her neighbors, while reaffirming our enduring commitment to Israel's security.

"As Jewish families gather for this joyous celebration of freedom, let us all be thankful for the gifts that have been bestowed upon us, and let us work to alleviate the suffering, poverty, injustice and hunger of those who are not yet free. Chag Sameach ."

Preposterous on Passover

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