Not content with the traditional Hanukkah bash at the White House, President Trump held two parties celebrating the Jewish holiday on Wednesday night in the East Room. A lavish meal was served but the highlight was the selection of latkes, the traditional potatoes pancakes that (astronomically) symbolize the victory over the Seleucid Empire and the rededication of the Second Temple.
— President Trump At The White House Chanukah Party: “Let me just wish everybody a Happy Hanukkah and to about three of you here a merry Christmas” pic.twitter.com/bIRThsHBiT
— Belaaz (@TheBelaaz) December 10, 2020
As in previous years, afternoon and evening receptions were held, with 100 attendees at each gathering. Neither reception had a Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony, but the White House band entertained guests. Trump did not attend the afternoon reception but made an appearance at the evening event. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was the most senior official at the afternoon reception; other attendees included Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and Zionist Organization of America chairman of the board Mark Levenson.
At one point during his speech, President Trump referred to election fraud that had been perpetrated against him in the last election, to which the crowd responded with cheers of, “Four more years.”
President @realDonaldTrump celebrates Hanukkah tonight at the White House with many members of the nationwide Jewish community. pic.twitter.com/hsGRkAWl8g
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) December 10, 2020
In the official White House Hanukkah message, the president reiterated his dedication to an alliance with Israel, an alliance that he has made vastly stronger during his term in office.
This year’s observance of the Festival of Lights comes at a time when the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger. Over the past four years, my Administration has stood in unwavering solidarity with the Jewish people. In recent months, we brokered historic peace deals between Israel and major Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, ushering in unprecedented opportunities for enhancing stability and prosperity in the region. As we enter this season of celebration and reflection, we must continue to build on this progress and work toward a brighter and more secure future in the Middle East and around the world.