In a speech in Cairo, Barack Obama said that "the Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied." While Obama cannot be faulted for picking up such a central theme of the Israel narrative, this is an error. The Shoah is a central part of Jewish history, but the ashes to rebirth metaphor has become so engrained in the story of Israel that the Holocaust becomes Israel's raison d'etre. It should not be so. The rebirth of Israel is a rich dense story that goes back, not 70 years, but nearly two millennia.