Barack Obama, our Jewish president

I could go on. In fact, you could argue that Israel’s best-ever friends in the White House were Reagan and the second Bush. None of the men quoted here supported Israel because of pressure groups. Most of these past presidents were deeply religious; those who weren’t were deeply thoughtful, and supported Israel as a matter of conscience, not of politics. Something that could be said of most Americans throughout our history — in fact, Americans have historically liked to think of America as a new Israel (as William Blake, for instance, did of England). Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin went so far as to propose that America’s national seal be an image of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea to a new land of freedom.

You can also, of course, chalk up the perpetual majority of Americans who have supported Israel to the reason Americans supported fighting in Vietnam, in Korea, and in the Second and First World Wars: because Americans would rather do what’s right than do what’s easy or popular. Something our president would do well to remember.

Anyway, the question remains: Which of our presidents came closest to being a Jew?

Who can say? But none of them except Barack Obama ever responded to a massacre of Jews in Paris by saying they were random people in a deli.

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