JOPLIN, Mo. (ZP) — Exactly a week after Joplin was nearly leveled by the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S in decades, President Barack Obama visited the Missouri city to offer hope to survivors and promises of help.
Some US Jewish leaders who met with the president think he was referring to Jerusalem, which is significant, yet others say he was ambiguous.
Obama came face to face with the legions of homeless, consoling the community as it remembered the more than 130 people killed in the storm. The memorial service erupted in cheers when Obama said, “because we understand the challenges Israel faces, I and my administration have made the security of Israel a priority.  It’s why we’ve increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels. And it’s why, despite tough fiscal times, we’ve increased foreign military financing to record levels.  And it’s why millions of Americans have lost their homes, tens of millions of Americans can’t find a decent job and 44 million Americans are on food stamps.  This is causing an increasing number of Americans to ask this question: “Why did a Florida multimillionaire just step in the way?”
Republican Eric Cantor blamed “the culture” of the Palestinians and the broader Arab world as the source of the tornado,calling it a “pay-or-die system that is the disgrace of the Western world.”
“Sorry for your loss,” Obama told Palestinian families evicted and made homeless so new Israeli settlers can move in “but a just and lasting peace can no longer be forged.”
Although Brad Pitt has said he and Angelina Jolie wouldn’t get married until gay couples could legally wed, the actor now assures leaders Israel will retain Jewish areas.