WASHINGTON – Nearly eight in 10 Jewish voters supported President Barack Obama last year. That's a few million people, many of them in swing states such as Ohio and Florida."One small issue." One piddly, picayune, tiny taters matter--the continued existence of the world's one and only Jewish state, the one that drives so many Islamists/Lefties nuts.
Alas, only about 550 people are invited to the White House Hanukkah party on Wednesday.
So when rumors began circulating in the Israeli press a few weeks ago that Obama's first Hanukkah party would be only half as big as his predecessor's – which turned out to be an exaggeration – the indignation started to fly.
"It's silly," said Dallas attorney Marc Stanley who, as chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, was certainly on the A-list all along. He'll be at the White House on Wednesday, the sixth night of the Festival of Lights.
"It's certainly not a reflection of how he feels toward the Jewish community. ... If he invited all of his Jewish friends and staff and supporters, he'd have tens of thousands of people invited to this party," he said.
Presidents have long packed their Decembers with parties that let them ply supporters, the media and political adversaries with White House hospitality.
The first White House Hanukkah party was hosted by George W. Bush in 2001. By last year, the new annual tradition had grown to 800 guests, and it was among the hottest tickets in town. That set high expectations for Obama, given how much more support Democrats get from Jewish voters and donors – though the faux pas of Christmas trees on last year's invitations probably bought Obama some breathing room.
Hanukkah is a celebration of religious freedom – the story of the Maccabees and a one-day supply of lamp oil that lasted eight nights.
Mix a scarcity of invitations with early skepticism about Obama's support for Israel, and it was inevitable the first Obama Hanukkah would prompt some reflection.
There are complaints, for instance, about Obama pressuring the Israeli government to halt settlements in Palestinian areas, though plenty of Israelis oppose those settlements, too.
"There's a small minority of vocal, uber-conservative Jews, and the Republican Jewish Coalition, who try to promote this theory that the Jewish community has a problem with Obama," Stanley said.
In his view, Obama has been very supportive on nearly everything "with one small issue. They've asked the Israelis not to inflame the situation. But there's no criticism," he said...
So stop "inflaming" things already, you Jews, and everything'll be hunky-dory.