If this account of the White House Hanukkah party is accurate, then President Obama’s politicization of everything has reached a new low. According to Daniel Greenfield:
Obama’s own remarks were boilerplate inoffensive stuff. Israel’s President Rivlin, a political hack who desperately sucks up to the media, was equally insipid.
But the White House chose Susan Talve to light the Menorah. Talve is a member of the anti-Israel group T’ruah which is currently promoting assorted “soft BDS” programs. She’s also a Ferguson activist. Her behavior was deeply insulting to the religious Jewish community and made it clear that the White House was determined to hijack even a Chanukah party to promote an anti-Jewish agenda.
How so? Greenfield explains:
Talve. . .seemed determined to jam as many leftist talking points as possible in her limited time. Instead of talking about Chanukah, Talve blathered on about getting, “guns off our streets” and to “clean up the fires of toxic nuclear waste”.
Talve screeched, “I stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streets of Ferguson”.
Next Talve turned to the Middle East:
Chanukah is a celebration of the Maccabees defeating a Syrian occupation, but Talve may not even know that. Radical clergy tend to be light on the religion and heavy on the social justice.
Instead she rambled on about how the “gates of this nation would stay open for all immigrants and all refugees”.
Then, not satisfied with having made a disgrace of the Chanukah ceremony, Susan Talve declared, “I stand here to light these lights to say no the darkness of Islamophobia and Homophobia and Transphobia.”
Talve babbled about insuring “justice for Palestinians” and began gleefully chanting, “Ins’Allah, Ins’Allah”. Or “Allah Willing”.
I don’t recall Susan Talve mentioning G-d or a word of Jewish scripture. Indeed she spent more time talking about Muslims than about anything in Judaism. And yet that’s typical for Social justice clergy who have no organic ties to Judaism.
Talve’s position on these matters is well known, as is her outspokenness. Team Obama had to know, or strongly suspect, that Talve would deliver remarks like these. Presumably, that’s why it selected her.
UPDATE: The video of this ceremony is posted below. Greenfield’s account is accurate.
I should note, however, that it was Israel’s president, who first said “Ins’Allah,” after Talve talked about justice for the Palestinians. Talve then repeated it several times.
The Israeli president looked towards President Obama as he said this, thus living up to Greenfield’s description of him as a “suck up.”
Israeli Jews live among Arabs, and I have heard them say “Ins’Allah.” I wouldn’t have expected to hear it during a Jewish religious ceremony, but the White House event turned into more of a political event than a religious one.