Last night, Newark mayor Cory Booker won the special election for Senate in New Jersey. Surrounded by supporters, he delivered an impassioned victory speech in which he eloquently summarized the story of America. Or so it seemed. In fact, one of the key lines of the address was a paraphrase of former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir talking about the Jewish story. Here’s what Booker said:
This is our truth, this is our testimony. It is an American story: Alone we can be strong, but when we are together, we are invincible.
And here’s what Golda Meir said, as tweeted by Booker in March 2010:
“Jews together are strong, Jews with other people are invincible” Golda Meir – Happy Passover
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) March 29, 2010
Booker is a big fan of this particular quotation, having cited it in a 2008 address to AIPAC, a 2010 interview with Forbes, and in his commencement speeches at Brandeis University in 2009 and Stanford University in 2012. (You can watch some of these in our video supercut of Booker’s best Jewish moments.) As it turns out, Booker appreciated Meir’s observation about the Jewish people so much, he applied it to the entire United States of America in his Senate victory speech.
This isn’t the first time Booker–who was the president of the Chabad at Oxford and co-founder of a Jewish society at Yale–has been influenced by Jewish ideas in his political philosophy, and it won’t be the last. Just look at his reaction this morning to some well-wishers on Twitter:
Baruch HaShem! RT @rosierifka: mazel tov senator!
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2013