Yesterday, US President Barack Obama wished Jews around the world a Happy Hanukkah and released a statement about his not one, but two, Hanukka celebrations.
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) December 24, 2016
“I want to say how much Michelle and I appreciate the opportunities to have celebrated so many Hanukkahs with you in the White House … As many of you know, the name “Hanukkah” comes from the Hebrew word for “dedication.” So we want to thank you again for your dedication to our country, to the historic progress that we’ve made, to the defense of religious freedom in the United States and around the world.”
—President Obama at the 2016 Hanukkah celebration
This week, President and First Lady Obama welcomed more than 1,000 people to join in two White House Hanukkah receptions. Over the past eight years, the President has established a tradition of inviting special guests to light Menorahs of great significance here in the White House. In his final year, the President invited family members of the late Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and the late Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres to join him and the First Lady in celebrating Hanukkah.
You can see video of both ceremonies here. Obama lays on the charm, and even speaks a bit about the history of Hanukkah.
Secretary of State John Kerry also tweeted his Hanukkah greetings.
Happy #Hanukkah! May the lights of the menorah brighten your home and the year ahead. From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) December 24, 2016
The hypocrisy of these two men could not be more apparent.
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the 2nd Jewish Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. Obama and Kerry have made it clear they view Israel’s presence in Jerusalem – including the site of the 2nd Jewish Temple and even part of the expansion wall erected by King Herod (i.e. the Western Wall) – as an illegal occupation!
You can’t have it both ways – you can’t recognize the events that led to Jews celebrating Hanukkah and delegitimize our right to Jerusalem or even anywhere in the land of Israel.
As Obama said at the ceremony, through centuries of exile and persecution, the Hanukkah candles have been kindled, “each wick an answer to the wicked, each light a signal to the world that yours is an inextinguishable faith.”
In generations, we will still be here lighting our Hanukkah candles, looking back at this US administration’s actions as yet another example of wicked people trying to erase our history.