When Miriam Peretz Said No To Obama

No one says no to President Obama. But Miriam Peretz did.


Eliraz Peretz, HY”D.

It happened like this:

It was March 13, 2013. The president was in Israel and he wanted to visit the military cemetery on Mount Herzl. In order for this to happen, the cemetery had to be cleared of all visitors, for reasons of security. There was just one slight problem–the day chosen for the president’s visit, Nissan 11, was the anniversary of the murder of Miriam’s second soldier son to be killed in battle, Eliraz.

Miriam got a call: would she be willing to postpone the date of her son’s memorial ceremony since security protocol demanded an empty cemetery (empty except for the graves, of course)? This was an impossible request to fulfill. It’s a question of Jewish law. The anniversary of a death date cannot be postponed.

Miriam had no choice but to refuse the President’s request. “Sorry, no can do. I can’t change the date, but you know,” she added with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes as she told us what happened next (“us” being the small group of journalists gathered to hear her speak on Sunday night), “maybe I can help him out.

Miriam Peretz

“The President can go to the cemetery at 9 AM and I’ll go at 11.”

Eminently sensible.

And so it was.

So impressed was the President with Miriam’s common sense (and, of course, her story), that he insisted on meeting her. Miriam was invited to a state dinner with then Israeli president Shimon Peres and, yes, President Barack Obama, who gave her a hug.

All of which lead to the conclusion that it takes a Miriam Peretz, a Moroccan Jewish mama, a lioness, to say no to Obama.

She’s sure got the stuff.

Is it any wonder then, that two years ago, Bibi offered her a spot high up in the Likud’s Knesset list?

We sure could have used her in the lead up to that sucky Iran deal.


Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.