Its a tradition that the U.S. President hosts a Hannukah party every year in the White House. On the surface its a lovely gesture that America is not just about the majority Christians’ holidays, that Jews and other religions are equally celebrated and part of the American fabric. I have absolutely no problem with the concept.
However, I DO have a problem with this year’s version of the event. As reported in the Times of Israel, this year the Hanukkiah was provided by the Max Rayne Hand In Hand School in Jerusalem. For those of you that don’t know, the Hand In Hand School is one of 5 schools in Israel that promote coexistence by teaching Israeli children of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze and any other faith in the same classrooms. Here is their mission:
Our Mission at Hand in Hand is to create a strong, inclusive, shared society in Israel through a network of Jewish-Arab integrated bilingual schools and organized communities.
We currently operate integrated schools and communities in five locations with 1,100 Jewish and Arab students and more than 3,000 community members.
Over the next ten years, we aim to create a network of 10-15 schools, supported and enhanced by community activities, altogether involving more than 20,000 Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens.
Jews and Arabs – learning together, living together – and inspiring broad support for social inclusion and civic equality in Israel.
Its a wonderful project and I support it wholeheartedly, indeed I wish all Israeli schools were like the Hand In Hand Schools. (If you follow the blog you already know I’m the Pinko lefty of the outfit).
So why am I complaining about this year’s ceremony? The reason that the Hannukiah was provided by the Hand In Hand school from Jerusalem this year is a purely political gesture. The Hand In Hand school was the target of an arson attack back on November 29th by some Jewish extremists that have since been charged with the despicable act.
Friends of Palestine are constantly telling us that their hatred of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Its anti-ZIONISM. Plenty of Jews are not Zionist they say, and some are even anti-Zionist (true, and especially true in the U.S.) and therefore we are not anti-Semites. So if that is the case, then shouldn’t the White House be separating the Jewish religion from what is going on in Israel? And if that is the case, then what possible relevance should the arson attack on a bi-lingual, multi religious school in Jerusalem have on an exclusively Jewish ceremony? WHAT HAS THIS SCHOOL AND THIS EVENT TO DO WITH THE JEWISH RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY OF HANNUKAH???
The answer is zero. The Obamas and Co. have coopted this event which should have been about showing American Jews that they are as American as anyone, and to celebrate Judaism and Jews as one of America’s important minorities. Instead it became a political point scoring opportunity and liberal wank fest. The attitude is “We are so high and mighty that we will make a grand gesture that shows how good and fair we are.”, and its a common attitude amongst the progressives recently best highlighted by the utterly ridiculous, patronising and offensive “#IllRideWithYou” wank fest that materialised out of the Sydney Siege (covered best by Dave here). No, no Jews, it can’t be about you, it has to be about US too!
I have to say that I am also seeing disturbing pattern developing. Hannukah candle lighting is being used by enemies of the Jewish State to cleanse themselves of any hint of anti-Semitism.
Here is European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini lighting a Hannukah candle in Brussels the same day that the EU to rescinded Hamas’ status as a terror organization, AND (the double whammy, the two fer) also voted to recognise Palestine as a State.
And of course yesterday Dave showed the Iranians and their comical Hannukah candle lighting ceremony. Here’s a pic:
Its almost as if lighting the Hannukiah is the equivalent of lighting a match after a stinky visit to the loo. Light one and the stench of anti-Semitism fades away.