Obama’s Condolences 3 Days After Benzion Netanyahu’s Death Labeled By Some As ‘Insulting’


obama1President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on Wednesday from Air Force One to express his personal condolences on the death of his father, Benzion Netanyahu. The president noted Benzion Netanyahu’s remarkable legacy of service to the Jewish people and his deep friendship with the United States.

However, the fact that the call came days after Benzion Netanyahu’s death drew criticism from some American Jews, who even called the delay “typical of the Obama administration” and “insulting.”

Indeed, during the elections year, even condolences might become a political issue. Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and the likely Republican presidential candidate, was one of the first to issue a statement. It read: “I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Benzion Netanyahu. Not only was he the father of my friend Benjamin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the father of Israel’s hero of the Entebbe raid, Yonatan Netanyahu, he was also a distinguished historian and leader in his own right. This is a loss for all of Israel and for all who care about Israel.”

Some voices in the Jewish community wondered in the past few days whether Obama would do the same. On Tuesday night, at Israel’s 64th Independence Day event held at the embassy, senior advisor to Obama Valerie Jarrett extended her condolences on behalf of the President and his administration. Even though Jarrett also offered her personal condolences, some conservative Jews concluded that “it’s not good enough” and “insulting.”

On Wednesday morning, the White House issued readout of Obama’s call to Prime Minister Netanyahu from Air Force One, on his way back from his unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

And yet for some, it remains too little and too late. On Twitter, the Republican Jewish Coalition asked: “Obama also took three days to get around to it when it was [Turkish President] Erdogan who was bereaved, right?”

{Haaretz/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. He knows that you are supposed to wait 3 days before being menachem an oveil. Mistoma, Obama holds by that by yidden. By goyim, it would be an insult, so legabei erdogan he called immediately. By yidden he was makpid for our minhogim.

  2. Jewish law actually stipulates that only close friends should console on the first two days. The president followed Jewish protocol.

  3. Obama must be heimish. Becuase in the Chasidish/Heimish community, the first 2-3 days of shiva is strictly for family members. He wanted to wait until the hamoin am can pay shiva calls

  4. What is the problem? Maybe he was following the minhag brought in Kol Bo (see Gesher Hachaim) that for the first few days those close to the mourner should be menacheim aveil, such as family, and only later should others that are strangers, outsiders.

    Let’s not make everything political…

  5. Well, the third day is when halachicly talking begins — LOL!!
    IY”H, He will protect us – no one else!

  6. Well, the third day is when halachicly talking begins — LOL!!
    IY”H, He will protect us – no one else!

  7. Obama is an AntiSemite! He could’nt care less about Jews or Israel! He must be thrown out of office along with that Eric Holder guy!

  8. Obama was advised correctly that the Jewish Custom is to perferably wait 3 days before paying a condolence call. It is completly understandable, and highly considerate of Mr. Obama for respecting the Jewish custom.

  9. I’m willing to be dan lekaf zechus and assume that someone told him that condolences are typically not offered till the third day.

  10. Obama never missed an opportunity to put us down. Look at the issue from his perspective! In his mind, Netanyahu is the head of the Jew state. Therefore, his insult directed at Netanyahu has you and I in mind, regardless of your position concerning medinat Israel.

    Z’chor, al tish’kach what Obama stands for and who his friends are in November when you vote!!!

  11. It will only get worse once Obama gets reelected. This is just the beginning. And if anybody believes Obama isn’t heading for a second term, he could keep on dreaming. Obaman seriously does not like Netanyahu. And he does not approve of his policies. And so after elections Obama will be free to pressure Netanyahu all he likes. so lets start davening now.

  12. yidden pls don t vote for obama he is like lucy who hplds the ball for charly then pulls it away at the last second charly then falls to the ground this obama is up to no good

  13. ALL OF YOU & i mean EVERYONE who said the dopey comment that obama knows the law i have one ting to tell you-be quiet

  14. I didn’t know it was a race to offer an opportunity to say your condolences. Shiva is a week long right?