November 19, 2009, - 2:17 pm

Quote of the Day & Style v Substance: Whining Over Obama’s Meaningless Chanukah Party

By Debbie Schlussel

But William Daroff, Washington director of the Jewish Federations of North America, said that size isn’t what matters.

No, this quote isn’t about penis size (though it is kind of funny to read, especially b/c I know Daroff and he’s usually smarter than that). It’s about the size of this year’s White House Chanukah party, which the Obama Administration has shrunken in half. Several Jewish readers have e-mailed me, complaining about this.


But I really don’t care about the size of the party. Obama isn’t Jewish. And as I said around Passover time, when Obama hosted an unkosher Seder–the first White House Seder–at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I really don’t think there should be White House Ramadan Iftar dinners, Chanukah parties, or anything else, other than the lighting of the White House Christmas Tree and a Christmas Party. But both the Jerusalem Post and Politico are whining about this, along with a lot of Jews I know.

Stop the whining.  This party is meaningless.  And here’s why:

The statement against BOTH Ramadan dinners and Chanukah parties is not to say that Jewish Americans are morally equivalent to Muslims in America. They are not.  Jews helped build this country from the very beginning and fought in every war. Muslims are tearing down the country at every opportunity and attacking us in many recent wars (including on our own soil). And it is a significant source of symbolism that Obama didn’t cut the size of the White House Iftar dinner in half nor did he cancel an appearance at any large Muslim organization’s events, like he did with the Jewish Federations of North America (which is made up of liberal pan-Muslim lapdogs who deserved to get dissed by their hero Obama).

But I really don’t believe the White House should be a place for religious observances other than Christmas. And that’s really not the issue here. The issue is Obama’s treatment of the Jews and of Israel and his response to Islamic terrorists on American soil–on all of which he’s performed appallingly. These are not Jewish issues, in my view.  They’re everyone’s issues.

It’s not important how nice the White House chef made the latkes (fried potato pancakes traditionally eaten on Chanukah) or how many sufganiyot (fried jelly donuts traditionallly eaten on Chanukah) Michelle Obama ingested. What’s important and significant is Obama’s policies, which mean a heckuva lot more to me than a silly party for Jewish liberal donors whose observance of Judaism pales in comparison to their observance of Democrat Party platform planks.  And these people upset by the reduced scope of the party are unfortunately not nearly as upset–if at all–by Obama’s pan-Islamic world view and pronouncements.

One reader wrote that while 78% of Jews voted for Obama, he believes that, come Chanukah time (which is very soon), less than 78% would support Obama because of this slight. I don’t agree. No-one cares about this silly party, unless they were on deck for the party and didn’t make the cut-off list.  And those are die-hard Obama donors.  Plus, as I’ve previously noted on this site, during the valiant fight of Maccabees–one of the epic events that we celebrate on Chanukah–the Maccabees were forced to slaughter many fellow Jews, Hellenists, who sided with the Greek-Assyrian forces of King Antiochus Epiphanies. There was a lot of bloodshed of these assimilated Hellenist Jews who allied with the enemy and chose its lifestyle. The Maccabees showed them no mercy and treated them no better than the Antiochus forces, probably worse.

I also liken this to the 80% of Jews who did not make the exodus from slavery in Egypt. Yes, only 20% of the Jews left and crossed over into the Holy Land. The other 80% stayed, and they are like the Jewish Obama voters and donors who may be miffed when they don’t get the invite to watch the pan-Muslim Obama desecrate Chanukah’s spirit by lighting the menorah, which symbolizes the Jews’ survival against the forces he now enables.

And one other note: I’m sick and tired of getting the e-mails from conservatives whining about the Jews and their majority vote for Obama. Even if every adult Jew registered to vote had pulled the lever for John McCain, Obama would still be President today. There are only 5.2 million Jews in America, many of them children and under voting age. We didn’t elect Obama. The country did. Stop blaming us. Blaming the Jews is what the Nazis did. It’s what Antiochus and his forces in the Chanukah-time events did. And those of you who send me those anti-Semitic e-mails about Obama are really no different. And you’re not helping the conservative cause or your case to my fellow co-religionists to defeat Obama in 2012.

I don’t care about the Obama Chanukah party. And you shouldn’t either. If you want to defeat Obama in 3 years, you’d better stop blaming the Jews for his election.

29 Responses


Doda McCheesle on November 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm


    Don’t you know about the Bird?
    Everybody knows that the Bird is the “WORD.”

    jayeeegee on November 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Debbie is correct. If every Jew had pulled the lever for McCain last year, Obama would still have been elected President. Jews may have short-shortsightedly voted for the Democrat but they didn’t elect him. There is a difference. Blaming Jews for what happened is not going to help conservatives and its not going to lead the Jewish Community to consider listening to the Right.

What happened is now history. We have to deal with the present and the future and Americans – Jewish or not – in the meantime can do two things: check the worst excesses of Obama’s domestic agenda and make sure Israel survives. Do that and there will be a chance to undo the mistake of Obama’s election in 2012.

That’s doing something constructive. Whining about a Chanukah party won’t push the country in a direction that will strengthen it and ensure Israel’s survival. Let’s keep our eyes on what is needed to be done today and tomorrow.

NormanF on November 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm

There were only a few areas that Obama did not win in New York state. These were areas that had large concentrations of Orthodox Jews. We knew who he was before he entered the White House and after.
I am a proud American who believes in having respect for the President. But he makes it so hard. Can anyone imagine what the media would have done to Bush if he would have blocked Congressional Investigations of the Ft. Hood terrorist attack. Sound strange that I describe it as such?The answer is yes because the media continues to not recognize it for what it was. Our president continues to apologize, bow and give warnings to those who are not afraid of the U.S. Remember, he only scares us.

DK on November 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm

You’re fired up, Debbie-I appreciate your post and your feelings about this admin. Number me among the non-Jews who has never pointed a finger at Jews regarding who put Obama in power.
H. Allen smith, in one of his stories, wrote of a newspaper editor shaking his head over some of his staff’s “Invulnerable Stupidity”. Nothing could penetrate their thick skulls.
I see the Obama voters in that same way-it didn’t matter how many red flags were waved in front of their eyes,how evident it was that Obama was corrupt, a race-baiter, someone inciting class warfare-Obama rode into the White House on the back of the voters Invulnerable Stupidity. They might even re-elect him.

Douglas Q on November 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm

liberal pan-Muslim lapdogs…That’s hilarious…
Those Jews who voted for Obama are a “stiff-necked people” aren’t they? Wasn’t that metaphor spoken by the Lord to Moses back in the day because most of the Hebrews had their heads buried in the sand during Exodus?
So what has changed today? You at least had the common sense to not vote for this non-sense. e.g. a liberal pan-Muslim lapdog who’s policies border insanity. Stop trying to make sense out of non-sense!

John Henry Doe on November 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm

“But I really don’t believe the White House should be a place for religious observances other than Christmas”

But what if the President was Jewish?

Dave on November 19, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    She doesn’t want a Jew to be president

    Mickey Francis on November 22, 2009 at 2:56 am

That Obama is halving the invites to the annual Hanukkah party is just another symptom of the disease. The disease being his blatant support of the Islamic agenda and his hatred of Israel. So while this may be just another stupid party at the White House, I’m glad people are whining about it. They should be. And loud. Maybe after these things keep happening, again and again, some people will open their eyes. (But you are right, though–it wouldn’t be many.)

Yes, the Jews did not win the election for Obama. They didn’t, and they couldn’t. No decent person could blame the Jews or any other voting bloc in particular for Obama’s win and America’s loss. The people who do blame the Jews– giving a pass to the many and sundry Democratic voting blocs– are anti-Semitic for sure. But what gets the goat of many Israel- supporting conservatives, I think, is the suicidal nature of Liberalism. Sometimes it seems that the people who stand to lose the most under a “liberal” state are the ones who vote liberal Democrats into office again and again. It defies a conservative’s understanding. So when some conservatives complain about the Black vote or the Jewish vote or the Hispanic vote or the Boston Irish Catholic vote etc. going en bloc to the liberal Dems, one ought not assume the said conservatives are racists or bigots. Some are people like me, pro-Israel, and deeply baffled by liberalism.

In my opinion, it wasn’t a voting bloc that lost the election, because those have always been around. It was an incompetent McCain campaign.

Ed on November 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm

77% of American Jews supported Barack O’Bama in the 2008 election. That makes him the first Democratic President since (something like) 1924 to win the White House with LESS than 80% of the Jewish vote. The difference was made up by black voters so we certainly agree here; the Jews did not elect Barack O’Bama to the White House.

The problem is: Barack O’Bama agrees too and here the White House is once again sending a clear message to Jewish voters. Our President is NOW saying some thing quite different than what he said to Jews on the campaign trail last year. The new line goes something like this: “There were a lot of lot of emails going around Jewish circles about a really scary guy named Barack O’Bama during the election last year. If you see this guy named Barack O’Bama, Yep! That’s me! Sure fooled YOU, didn’t I!”

So here we disagree, Deb. If this jesture causes liberal Jews to finally figure out what we’ve known all along (that BHO is BAD for the Jews), it will certainly make it that much more difficult for him to get re-elected. By 2012, black voters might get apathetic about him. In combination, the old dynamics (80%) might hold in 2012.

Barack O’Bama’s support amongst Jewish Americans has been slowly eroding. Even Abe Foxman made public note of it during a meeting at the White House with Jewish “leaders” (J-Street was invited; not that I’m surprised that BHO would consider them “leaders”). Every little gesture like this adds up to what could likely be a landslide of anti-O’Bama sentiment among Jewish-Americans.

Anyway, I’m glad you took note of this gesture. It doesn’t matter that you drew a different conclusion than I did from it. The important thing is that you publicized it and pointed out the real problem: President O’Bama’s policies. Every passing day, this, his policies, and other gestures prove that he really IS that “scary guy” and THIS latest gesture shows how little the President cares now that he’s in office.

There is NO Santa Claus on November 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Obama is dangerous – period – and especially to Jews because of his pan Islamic sympathies. I would not be surprised if Michelle put on a hijab or another one of those ridiculous outfits to show their true sympathies. It saddens me that so many of my fellow Jews just don’t seen to care or are willfully blind. The nastiest one is Joe Klein who refuses to believe that Major Hasan is an Islamist terrorist and yes, blames that perception on “extremists Jews”! You got it: Klein blames the Joooos. Another self-hater – I am sick of them. The other jerk is Eric Alterman and anybody who writes for Slate. A bunch of sick anti-Semites. And don’t start me on Tony Kushner and Andrew Sullivan. They revel in their hatred of Jews and Judaism.

JulieJ on November 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Another excellent post, Debbie.

Count me as being a Jewish American who voted for McCain. I knew that Obama was bad news from the start and surely enough…. The Chanukah party doesn’t even register with me for the reasons that Debbie and others here have stated.

JeffE on November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for the mention – and your endorsement of me as being “usually smart” 🙂 For what it’s worth the “size doesn’t matter” line is not a quote from me – but rather was the journalist’s words describing my viewpoint – which she then follows with my actual quote. I am, as you noted, usually smart enough to avoid opening myself up to anatomical ridicule — although my Facebook friends are having a field day as well.


William Daroff on November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I realize that the size of the party is symbolic, and that the important thing is Obama’s policies, e.g. accepting Iran’s nuclear development, stabbing Israel in the back, etc.

On the other hand, I do think that this symbolic snub has some meaning. Obama and his cronies certainly are aware that most American Jews place symbol ahead of substance, and by decreasing attendance — and its hard to see how the economy has anything to do with this — he is telling American Jews that they need him (*?&%?) more than he needs them.

I think that what he is saying to them is that they’re not backing him enough against the dread Netanyahu (and I realize the feebleness of Netanyahu’s gestures), and that they better back him more, and come out squarely and clearly against Netanyahu. He knows how much importance they attach to symbolism, and that to them symbolism is more important than substance. He probably figures they will sacrifice substance (if they ever had it) in order to get some more symbolic gestures.

Little Al on November 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm

The O finally found somewhere to cut spending. Will the Kobe beef parties are out too. Not likely. If I was Jewish I think I’d be a little offended by the symbolism of the cut, but the party itself is just a photo-op for O to say he loves his Jewish friends. Now at least some more will see through the facade.

I wonder if Jeremiah Wright was consulted on the size of the party.

Greg on November 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Good article, DS.

I never took into account that fact about even if all Jews voted against Odumbo, he would still have been elected. I also liked the comparison to the traitorous Jews in the times of Antiochus, and by the Exodus from Egypt.

When I message you earlier, my only “whine” was about the fact that he decided to cut his party budget in half when it came to a Jewish event, when he spent lavishly on all other events. I believe that he is singling Jews out, and that he dislikes us. You can also see it in the way he treats Israel. I believe that somewhere in his heart he is associate with Islam, and believes in Allah.

As my old boss always asked me, “You want some cheese with that whine.” lol

David Reich on November 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Given that I understand full well that lighting the Menorah is not a Sacrament, even so I find the idea of President Obama doing so as meaningless as him fantasizing that he can Mass — and he may get around to that at Easter.

Mack Hall on November 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I would prefer that Obama not sully any Jewish holiday.

lexi on November 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Has there ever been a President sticking his nose into anything and everything going on in the country and world each and every day like this one? What is the record for most public appearances in a complete term for any President? Has Obama already broken it in less than a year?

Bob S. on November 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Obama says this is not a “Christian Nation” so don’t bank on Christmas being celebrated at the White House too much longer.

Ralph on November 20, 2009 at 12:37 am

Hello Debbie…

You say:

“I’m sick and tired of getting the e-mails from conservatives whining about the Jews and their majority vote for Obama. Even if every adult Jew registered to vote had pulled the lever for John McCain, Obama would still be President today. There are only 5.2 million Jews in America, many of them children and under voting age. We didn’t elect Obama.”

I blame the Jews in great part who voted for Obama. Yes, they share responsibility for this Anti-Israel (and by extension) anti-Jewish president making royal edicts harming Israel.

The Jewish people like it or not are financial heavyweights-and spread the money out to liberal candidates whom they support. Since nearly 80 percent of Jews in America got behind the Jeremiah Wright protege-they must share the blame for his horrendous policies.

I could care less about his Hanukkah party. To me, Obama is Amelik.

Perhaps it is just me, but I have nothing but vitriolic feelings for Jews who supported BHO!

Rick on November 20, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I agree with you, Rick, but didn’t you mean to say: I could NOT care less about his Hanukkah party??

    lexi on November 20, 2009 at 9:46 am

In the JP article there was a line that read “Given the current economic downturn, Jewish officials said the White House was loathe to be seen spending substantial sums on holiday parties.” What about all of the extravagant parties that Odopey has had for all of his peeps since he was inaugurated? Has anybody tallied up those costs?

Jarhead on November 20, 2009 at 11:54 am

I don’t doubt for one second that Obama is an anti-Semite. I am reminded of the fact that the majority of the Jews chose not to leave Egypt when they were given the opportunity. I think that this proves that decent people are in the minority. Having said that, I think that a “minority” of decent people can overcome evil with faith in Hashem and with hard work. I don’t want this Islamist phony celebrating MY HOLIDAY. Channuakah is not Kwanza – somebody inform the phony who occupies the White House that he ia blasphemous, anti-Semitic clown. I have no use for the man. He sat in the Reverend Wrong’s church for 20 years without opening his mouth. That is all you need to know about the man. Governor Palin was right – McCain should have hit him hard over that.

JulieJ. on November 22, 2009 at 12:45 am

Frankly I couldn’t care less about the White House Christmas Tree thing. Seperation of Church and State you know, but as a Christian I’d like to add, can’t we get someone else to light that sucker? Even the anti-Pope Sinead O’Connor would be a better choice.

theShadow on November 22, 2009 at 2:23 am

I dont give a damn about the chanukah party……… I do see it, however, as dissing Jews….
I dont think it was “proper” for the White House to be kashered so OU / NCYI and whatever orthodox Jews were invited could attend (and eat).

What I DO think should happen, is that whichever Jews DO get invited this year, DECLINE……say they have another “date” or “appointment” or “plans” for the same date as the WH Chanukah “do”.

Time Jews showed some backbone, dignity & self respect. To attend, under circumstances of what’s being done & planned for Israel is self defeating, undignified and even immoral.

Blanche on November 22, 2009 at 9:20 am

No self-respecting Jew would attend a party hosted by Obama.

JulieJ. on November 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm

well then maybe in 2010 and 2012 the Jewish population will stop voting for these people, stop campaigning for these people and above all stop giving money to these people

Martin Fee on November 23, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’m in agreement with Debbie that this Chanukah party at the WH is nonsense…..The only Jews who seem to give a damn are the ones still besotted with the occupant-in-chief.”He loves us! He loves us not!!He loves us somewhat!!!”…Somebody get these fools a life,please.

There IS a lot old-fashioned Jew hatred coming out of the woodwork….but guess what? It’s always been in the woodwork to begin with….even before there was an America. I say better to know right up front who my enemies are rather than learn the hard way through 2-faced types.

Not Ovenready on November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

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