OU Defends Bush White House in Hanukkah Bush Scandal

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

James Besser in Washington

The Orthodox Union has jumped to the defense of a lame-duck administration  whose holiday snafu is the object of a lot of snarky humor.

This week several news outlets were chortling about the fact that  invitations to the White House Hanukkah party were sent on…well, Christmas cards. At least that’s the impression conveyed by an image of a big evergreen being hauled by horse-drawn cart to the White House, with the label “White House Christmas Tree, 2008,” just in case anybody didn’t get the idea.

OU public policy director Nathan Diament, writing in his blog, didn’t see anything funny about the reaction.

As Diament accurately points out,  “each year the competition is intense among Jewish leaders and notables (not to mention  would-be leaders and notables) to get invited to the event. And each year, The White House has made sure to ’spread the wealth’ and invite new people from across the spectrum of U.S. Jewry – including many who disagree with the President’s policies.”

Making that kind of “gracious hospitality the subject of jest is chutzpah of the highest order,”  he admonished.

In a response to the New York Post, which could get a Pulitzer for breaking the Hanukkah-gate story, the White House said the mixup was “something that just slipped through the cracks.”

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.