The Founding Fathers dedication to Moses and the Jewish Holiday of Passover

Revised from an Israel Commentary article of April 2012

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=3171

Published in “Israel Hayom” (Most read daily newspaper in Israel)

March 30, 2012

Passover, and especially the legacy of Moses and the Exodus, has been part of the American story since the seventeenth century, inspiring the American pursuit of liberty, justice and morality.

The special role played by Passover – and the Bible – in shaping the American state of mind constitutes the foundation of the unique relations between the American People and the Jewish State. As important as are the current mutual threats and interests between the US and Israel, the bedrock of the unbreakable US-Israel alliance are permanent values, principles and legacies, such as Passover.

In 1620 and 1630, William Bradford and John Winthrop delivered sermons on the “Mayflower” and “Arbella,” referring to the deliverance from “modern day Egypt and Pharaoh,” to “the crossing of the modern day Red Sea” and to New Zion/Canaan as the destination of the Pilgrims on board.

In 1776, Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense (which cemented public support for the revolution), referred to King George as the “hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh.”  Upon declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin, the most secular Founding Father, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second third American Presidents, proposed a Passover theme for the official US seal: the Pillar of Fire leading Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea, while Pharaoh’s chariots drown in the Sea. The inscription on the seal was supposed to be: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” framing the rebellion against the British monarchy as principle-driven. The lessons of the Jewish deliverance from Egyptian bondage reverberated thunderously among the Rebels, who considered the thirteen colonies to be “the modern day Twelve Tribes.”

The 19th century Abolitionists, and the Civil Rights movement from the 1940s to the 1970s, were inspired by the ethos of the Exodus and by the Bible’s opposition to slavery. In the 1830s, the Liberty Bell, an icon of American independence, was adopted by the Abolitionists, due to its Exodus-inspired inscription: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10).  Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), and her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe (“The Little Rabbi”) were scholars of the Bible and the Exodus.  Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849 and freed Black slaves on the Underground Railroad, earned the name “Moses.” The 1879/80 Black slaves who ran away to Kansas were called “the Exodusters.”  The most famous spiritual, “Go Down, Moses” was considered the National Anthem of Black slaves.

In 1865, following the murder of President Lincoln, most eulogies compared him to Moses.  Just like Moses, Lincoln liberated slaves, but was stopped short of the Promised Land. France paid tribute to the martyred Lincoln by erecting the Statue of Liberty, featuring rays of sun and a tablet, just like the glaring Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments.

In 1954, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. compared the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools to the parting of the Red Sea.  In 1964, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King proclaimed: “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself. The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried, ‘Let my people go.’”

President Reagan mentioned (Reagan at Westminster, 2010) Exodus as the first incident in a long line of Western resistance to tyranny: “Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom – the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II.”

In July, 2003, President Bush stated, in Senegal, “In America, enslaved Africans learned the story of the exodus from Egypt, and set their own hearts on a promised land of freedom.”

In March, 2007, President Obama said in Selma, Alabama that the civil rights pioneers were the “Moses generation” and he was part of the “Joshua generation” that would “find our way across the river.”

(What Chutzpa!  Obama as Joshua! More confirmation of Obama’s classic narcissism and grandiose posturing) jsk

In 2012, the statue of Moses stares at the Speaker of the House, another statue of Moses towers above the seats of the Supreme Court Justices, a Ten Commandment monument sits on the ground of the Texas State Capitol and a similar monument will be shortly erected on the ground of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

In 2012, the leader of the Free World and its sole soul ally in the Mid-East, Israel, are facing the most lethal threat to liberty since 1945 – conventional and non-conventional Islamic terrorism. Adherence to the legacy of Passover, marshaling the conviction-driven leadership of Moses, and demonstrating the Joshua and Caleb courage and defiance of odds, will once again facilitate the victory of liberty over tyranny.

 

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”

Addendum Comments:

On Apr 1, 2012, at 12:12 PM, cody flecker wrote:

Actually Uriah P Levy was the first Commodore in the US Navy serving in the war of 1812. His nephew was Jefferson Monroe Levy, and it was he who bought the run down home and estate of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello) at an auction. Jefferson Monroe Levy while not a religious Jew was at best an observant Jew. He was one of the founders of the American Jewish Congress, after the pogroms started in Russia in the latter part of the 19th century. The Admiral that you are referring to was Admiral Rickover who was the father of the modern nuclear fleet.

Also, Your article failed to mention that Judah P Benjamin was the highest elected Jew in the Confederacy 100 years before those honors were again bestowed upon a Jew (Henry Kissinger)

Regards,

Cody Flecker

Thanks and …  How about Benjamin Cardoza, Supreme Court Justice (Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938) was a well-known American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice and actually the first Hispanic  on the Court well ahead of the present Far Left Justice Sonia Sotomayer  that erroneously declared for that honor. 

Haym Solomon was the guy that financed George Washington through the American Revolution. Admiral Hyman RICKOVER, FATHER OF US NUCLEAR NAVY, developed nuclear powered submarine, died 1986

And, I am sure that are hundreds if not thousands of others of whom we can all be very proud.

 

 

 

 

Yes, The Israelis are out of their minds.

Yes, The Israelis are out of their minds.

Can you imagine any other nation on earth, at any time in history, doing this?

377 of 550 of Palestinians slated for release involved in shooting, bombing, trying to kill

Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA  14 December 2011

“If you first don’t succeed try and try again”   (Motto of Israeli released terrorists)

A review of the crimes carried out by the 550 Palestinian prisoners slated for release in the second round of releases in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit finds that 377 are serving time for shooting, planting and/or throwing bombs, attempting to kill or attempting to murder or being involved in an attempt to murder.

The median sentence for the 377  was 4 years and 4 months!!

For list in English
http://www.shabas.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/CF195841-B1E3-4A8E-9EBB-4CC985A5975E/0/listeng.xls

For list in Hebrew
http://www.shabas.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/66291458-068F-42FB-BE94-A1B7D9632596/0/listheb.xls

The English list does not include details of the crimes of the prisoners.
The Hebrew version includes details of the crimes.  The prisoners being released in the exchange includes prisoners serving time for attempted murder and for trying to kill.

ISRAEL PRISON SERVICE STATEMENT
(Communicated by the Israel Prison Service<http://www.shabas.gov.il/shabas> Spokeswoman)

The list of prisoners designated for release in the second stage of the Gilad Shalit deal
www.shabas.gov.il/Shabas/KATAVOT_OLD/year2011/12-11/Notification+of+Release+of+Security+Prisoners+14.12.11.htm
has, this evening (Wednesday), 14.12.11, been uploaded to the Israel Prison Service (IPS) website.  From the time it was posted, there are 48 hours in which motions may be filed.

Following are the IPS’ preparations for the second stage:

As of tomorrow morning (Thursday), 15.12.11, prisoners will be notified of their pending release.  The preliminary identification and medical checks stage will begin. Afterwards, IPS personnel will escort the prisoners to either the Ayalon or Ofer prisons, where they will be concentrated.  This is due to be completed by tomorrow night.

The release is expected to take place on Sunday, 18.12.11, tentatively in the evening hours, when prisoners at the Ofer and Ayalon prisons will leave for the Beituniya crossing and Gaza, respectively.

Additional information will be issued separately.

For additional details, please contact IPS Spokeswoman Sivan Weizman sivanv@ips.gov.il  at 050-4062688.
——————————————–
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

(No, as far as I know, neither an AK47 rifle or packets of hand grenades will be issued to each prisoner at time of release nor will  Eric Holder, Attorney General of the  US Dept. of Justice, be consulted — although, he may have been already. Not sure) jsk

 

JUST A FEW THINGS PM NETANYAHU FORGOT TO MENTION

THE BOTTOM-UP US-ISRAEL RELATIONS

(Redacted from a much more detailed article)

By Ambassador (retired) Yoram Ettinger

The ties between the US and Israel resemble a triple-braided cord, which is not easily broken, consisting of shared values and mutually beneficial economic and security interests. 
The US affinity towards the Jewish State is exceptional in the international relations arena.  It is based upon a bottom-up structure, deriving its potency from the American people more than from American politicians.

Most Americans identify the Jewish State with cardinal US domestic values – not just with foreign policy – that reflect the Judeo-Christian roots of American democracy, liberty, morality, justice and the federalist system.  Such sentiments have produced systemic and solid support for Jewish sovereignty in Zion, dating back to the 17th century Pilgrims and the 18th century American Founding Fathers.  These sentiments are currently echoed by the representatives of the American people in the legislatures of the 50 states and in the US House of Representatives and Senate in Washington, DC.

While American presidents play a critical role in shaping US-Israel relations, the American people and their representatives set the foundations, direction and tone, as well as the content of the bilateral relations, sometimes overruling or redirecting White House policies.

The 390 year old infrastructure of shared values between the US and the vision of a Jewish State – since the sermons of William Bradford on the “Mayflower” in 1620AD – has been buttressed in recent years by Israel’s significant contribution to US national security in the face of mutual threats and in the pursuit of joint interests.

In addition, Israeli cutting-edge technologies have stimulated the US economy.  Moreover, Israel’s role as the only reliable and capable Middle Eastern ally of the US is highlighted by the recent seismic developments destabilizing every Arab country.

The enthusiastic legislators of 2011 adhere to the legacy of the authors of the 1787 US Constitution.  The latter were inspired by the Jewish Bible, by the Exodus from Egypt and by the political structure of the 12 Jewish tribes, which were governed by Moses the Executive, Aaron, the tribal governors and the legislature of 70 elders.  The US Founding Fathers regarded themselves as “the modern-day People of the Covenant.” Hence, the term “Federalism,” a derivative of the Latin word for “Covenant” – Foedus.

As a result, a marble replica of Moses – who is perceived by Americans as the chief law giver – is featured, prominently, at the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill, facing the seat of the Speaker of the House, the chief legislator. Two sculptures of Moses welcome visitors at the entrance to the Supreme Court and above the bench of the US Supreme Court Justices.  Another sculpture of Moses is displayed in the rotunda of the Library of Congress.

The inscription on the Liberty Bell, a corner stone of the American ethos is from the book of Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It inspired the anti-slavery movement, in general, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in particular.

The Ten Commandments proliferate in US government buildings, under the assumption that they have deeply impacted American civil laws. A granite rock, shaped like the Two Tablets, welcomes visitors to the Texas State Capitol in Austin, and the official seal of Yale University features the Hebrew words, “Urim and Thummim,” which were the power of the High Priest during the Exodus.

Furthermore, the map of the US features thousands of sites bearing biblical names, such as Salem (JeruSalem), Zion, Beth El, Bethlehem, Dothan, Ephrata, Hebron, Jericho, Canaan, Pisgah, Carmel, Gilboa, Rehoboth, Goshen, etc.

American leaders often quote from the Bible, since the US is the most religious Western society, believing in God and in Judeo-Christian values (90% and 80% respectively), with 42% of Christians frequenting Sunday church services.

Netanyahu should not have focused on the Palestinian issue, and certainly should not have offered further concessions. He should have focused on the larger context of US-Israel relations, which benefits America on the federal, state and district levels.

He should have proposed specific job-creating, export-increasing and security-enhancing bilateral programs, similar to the mutually-beneficial existing programs.  He should have offered the US expanded access to the ports of Haifa and Ashdod, and to dramatically enlarge and diversify the prepositioning of American military systems in Israel, for use by the US upon regional emergencies.

The larger context of the US-Israel relationship extends beyond the foundations of shared-values and transcends the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is not a one-way-street relationship – with the US giving and Israel receiving; it is a mutually-beneficial two-way-street.

For example, Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, and former Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, contends that “Israel’s contribution to US military intelligence is greater than all NATO countries combined.”  General Keegan, former chief of US Air Force Intelligence, asserted that “the scope of intelligence gained by the US from Israel is equal to five CIAs.”

Currently, US special operations forces are trained in Israel, on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan, leveraging Israeli battle tactics and counter-terrorism experience in the face of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), car bombs, booby-traps, suicide bombers and anti-tank missiles.  According to Brig. General Michael Vane, Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Israeli experience played a role in defeating terrorists in Iraq’s “Sunni Triangle.”

In September 2007, Israel demolished a nuclear plant in Syria, dealing a blow to the anti-Western Syria-Iran-North Korea axis, while upgrading the posture of deterrence and the joint interests of the US and Israel.

In 1982, Israel devastated 23 most advanced Soviet surface-to-air missile batteries, employed by Syria and considered impregnable. Israel’s battle tactics and electronic warfare were shared with the US, thus tilting the global balance of power in favor of the US and delivering to the US defense industries sensitive and rare knowhow.

In 1981, Israel decimated Iraq’s nuclear reactor, in defiance of US and international pressure. This provided the US with the conventional option during the 1991 war against Iraq, sparing the US a traumatic nuclear confrontation.

In 1970, Syria, invaded Jordan, aiming to topple the Hashemite regime and activate a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Gulf States.  US forces were over-stretched in Vietnam, but Israel mobilized its military, forcing Syria into a swift evacuation of Jordan, thus avoiding a dramatic setback to US national security and economy.  Israel’s capability of snatching roasting chestnuts out of the fire – without US involvement – vindicated enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation, irrespective of severe US-Israel disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict. The US is determined to avoid cutting off its nose to spite its face.

Israel’s unique contribution to US national security was summed up by the late General Alexander Haig, who was the Supreme Commander of NATO and US Secretary of State: “Israel is the largest, most battle-tested and cost-effective US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one American soldier, cannot be sunk and is located in a critical region for American national security and economic interests.  If Israel did not exist – the US would have to deploy a few additional aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean, along with tens of thousands of military personnel, costing the US taxpayers $20BN annually and dragging the US into additional regional and international confrontations.”

Israel constitutes a bonanza for the US defense industries, advancing US national security, employment, research & development and exports. In addition, Israel is a battle-proven laboratory, which has upgraded and refurbished hundreds of US military systems and technologies. It shares with the US most of these improvements, enhancing the competitive edge of the US defense industries, thus saving many US lives and mega billions of dollars in terms of new jobs, research and development. For instance, the current generation of the F-16 includes over 600 modifications introduced by Israel.  Also, during the Cold War, Israel transferred to the US captured Soviet combat aircraft, radar and other military systems, which afforded the US a crucial advantage over the USSR, operationally and industrially.

US-Israel cooperation, in defiance of mutual threats, should not be undermined by US-Israel disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue. Recent Arab havoc has reaffirmed that the Palestinian issue has never been the root cause of Middle East turbulence or the crown jewel of Arab policy-making. In fact, regional turbulence is unrelated to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian issue, Israel’s policies or Israel’s existence.