WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has compared the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over their ancient oppressors to the new Star Wars movie.
In a celebration of Hanukkah attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Obama said that in both stories, the heroes “proved that freedom can prevail over tyranny, hope can triumph over despair,” and “light can prevail over darkness.”
The comparison got a laugh from the crowd at the first of two White House Hanukkah parties.
Rivlin wished everyone a Happy Hanukkah, and then wished Christians a Merry Christmas as well. The Israeli president called Hanukkah “the holy day of spiritual activism.”
Then, as if to prove his point, St. Louis Rabbi Susan Talve said she was lighting the menorah “to say `no’ the darkness of Islamophobia and homophobia and transphobia and racism and anti-Semitism.”