Call this pre-emptive bud-nipping, but I figured with (unfounded) rumors rife that President Obama is on a mission to remove Israel from Judaism (as in, the false report that he removed "Next Year in Jerusalem" from the White House seder) we should make it clear from the get go that –
a) He does not mention Israel in his Jewish Heritage Month proclamation;
b) Neither did Bush.
That said, the diferences are instructive. Bush was more succinct; Obama more eloquent. Bush noted religious freedoms; Obama likes cultural mosaics.
UPDATE: Andrew Silow-Carroll at the NJ Jewish News catches something I missed: In the latest proclamation, Obama omits what he and other presidents have awkwardly included in this and other Jewish -related proclamations: The implicit reference to Jesus in "the year of our Lord:"
Instead, the final paragraph refers merely to the “thirtieth day of April, in the year two thousand ten.”
Recent proclamations concerning other subjects, including the National Day of Prayer (April 30) and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (April 29) continue to carry the phrase “in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten.”