Trump's Hanukka event excluded Jewish Democrats

Breaking away from the custom to invite Jewish members of both parties to such events, President Trump did not extend his invite to Democrats or Reform Jewish leaders.

December 9, 2017 14:36
1 minute read.
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump failed to invite to his Hanukkah celebration on Thursday night Jewish members of the Democratic party or even leaders of the Reform Jewish movement in the US, noted Newsweek.

Since 2001, the Festival of Lights was an event that brought together not only Jewish and non-Jewish people, but also members of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Such was the custom of previous American presidents.

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First Lady Melania Trump attends a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017.  SAUL LOEB / AFP

Representative Nita Lowey (D-N.Y) noted that this new turn of events is "deeply unfortunate."

Of the 30 Jewish members of Congress, only two are Republican, and if President Trump would have invited all 30 members he would have needed to extend his hospitality to noted critics of his policy such as Bernie Sanders and Adam Schiff.

The celebration took place only one day after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, leading some to wonder if he simply did not want to avoid any challenges to this historical decision during a social and family oriented gathering. Trump's grandchildren, who are Jewish, were present and lit the menorah.

Members of the Reform Jewish movement or other progressive Jewish leaders were also left out of the event.

President of the Zionist Organization of America Morton Klein, who did attend the event, had a simple explanation. "[The president] did not invite people who have been hostile to him," he said. 

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