Rarely one to take the high road, President Donald Trump decided to use this year's White House Hannukah party to send a very partisan message by not inviting the majority of Jewish House members — Democrats — to the festivities.
Fresh on the heels of Trump's controversial declaration that Jerusalem is now the capital of Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition and America First Action (Trump allies) hosted the White House's version of the "Festival of Lights" in a room flanked by Christmas trees and evergreen garlands. The event featured the lighting of a small menorah by Trump's young grandchildren, who are being raised in the Jewish faith by his daughter, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
Trump did not invite congressional Democrats to the White House Hanukkah party, according to aides.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 8, 2017
He also did not invite Reform Jewish leaders who have been critical of him or progressive Jewish activists who have differed with him on policy issues. https://t.co/8H4fZ14myf
The menorah is probobly going to be lit with tiki torches anyway.— Jennifer Goldhar (@jagoldhar) December 8, 2017
Some Twitter users tried to help us envision the intimate fête:
The two Jewish members of Congress who were invited, out of 30 Jewish congressional leaders, were Republican Representatives Lee Zeldin (NY) and David Kustoff (Tenn). Trump also left Reform Jewish leadership and progressive Jewish activists, many of whom have been critical of him or his policies, off this year's guest list.
Jewish organizations in attendance included those with far-right leanings, like Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein who, according to the New York Times, had himself been excluded from the annual White House shindig during Obama's presidency.
"He did not invite people who have been hostile to him,” Mr. Klein said in an interview. He should know. After being invited to the 2009 White House Hanukkah party during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, Mr. Klein was later cut from the guest list after condemning the former president in scathing terms. (Last year, Mr. Klein referred to Mr. Obama as a “Jew-hating anti-Semite.”)
Twitter users remembered — and they had the receipts:
Actor and comedian Roseanne Barr tweeted in fawning support of Trump:
#Jerusalem I thank G-d that I have lived to this day to see The Hanukkah Miracle of 5778-thank you, President Trump! You have honored the heart & soul of a weary nation. Your bravery & fearlessness will never be forgotten. Bless you, from 'The Jews.'— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) December 7, 2017
And was treated to an immediate smackdown:
How dare you call Trump the Hannukah miracle or have the audacity to speak for Jews? As a true Jew, anti semitism has been in the rise since tRump became president. He supports the white supremacists! Do you even know the story of Hannukah? Your post is an insult !— ❄️Hey_Jude❄️ (@jlrich114) December 7, 2017