Donald Trump’s ever-present son-in-law, Jared Kushner, warned Dad that he’d be shown up if he didn’t host a White House Passover seder as his bete noir (literally) predecessor, Barack Obama, did every year of his presidency. Jared (not just an Orthodox Jew, but apparently a Chabadnik) should be there, as should Ivanka. But this thing is so haphazard that no one knows if they will participate. Even Big Daddy might not be there. He has too much important tweeting to do about the debacle in Syria which he just worsened with a few Tomahawk missiles.
I’d like to suggest some guests who would be critical to any successful seder, and the roles they might play that night. Most important: Trump pal and current Egyptian Pharaoh, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi must be summoned back from Egypt (despite the Coptic Church bombings his inept police couldn’t prevent on Palm Sunday, which might cause him to pause before accepting a seder invitation). Every time the seder mentions the word “Pharaoh” al-Sisi can, in a take-off on the Purim tradition, cheer boisterously for his infamous predecessor.
What would any self-respecting White House seder be without would-be Israeli President and Trump booster, Alan Dershowitz? The Dersh can inveigh against anti-Semites, blood libels, and enemies of the Jewish people.
Any good seder needs an Elijah to visit on his way to announcing the arrival of the Messiah. Legend has it that he steals his way through the door left open by the seder host and takes a wee snift from the kiddish cup. Who better to play this role at the Trump seder than Steve Bannon. After all, he’s a mystical fellow who believes in the Second Coming of capitalism to save humanity from its dire fate. And he does love to tipple. I know that Steve’s come down a peg or two in the White House hierarchy lately. But there’s been a reputed sulha between Kushner and Bannon at the behest of Big Daddy. So Steve should still be eligible to attend. Not to mention, he needs to find some way to do teshuvah for all those nasty cracks he made about Jews to his ex-wife.
Another must-have guest is ZOA boss, Mort Klein, who is quoted in Politico comparing the dance moves of Chasidim at Orthodox weddings to those of Black folk. Black Hats=Black folk. Seriously, read the passage from the Politico article and marvel at the deft, subtle wit of Mort Klein, the settler-loving heart of the American Zionist movement. Marvel as well that this jackass is paid over $400,000 per annum to regale the media and his members with such wit and wisdom.
Knowing that gender equity would be an important consideration for any Trump seder, he simply must have Marine LePen at his table. She swears she and her National Front have turned over a new leaf and rid themselves of the overt anti-Semitism of her father. But yesterday, she made the remarkable claim that the French nation isn’t responsible for the deportation of Parisian Jews during the Nazi Occupation of France:
“I think that, generally speaking, if there are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not France.”
…France had “taught our children that they have all the reasons to criticise [the country], and to only see, perhaps, the darkest aspects of our history. So I want them to be proud of being French again.”
Using a level of sophistry that would make Trump proud, Le Pen argues that the only government at the time of the deportation that legally represented France was the one in exile in London. Since the Vichy regime didn’t, according to her, represent France–then presto change-o, no French culpability for mass murder. Neat and tidy, just like that.
What seder worth its salt would be without a few billionaire oligarchs to say those memorable words from the seder prayer expressing undying solidarity with the poor and oppressed:
This is the bread of affliction, the poor bread,
which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.
Let all who are hungry come and eat.
Let all who are in want, share the hope of Passover.
As we celebrate here, we join with our people everywhere.
This year we celebrate here.
Next year in the land of Israel.
Now we are still in bonds.
Next year may we all be free.
Two billionaires who would round out the invitation list nicely are blood diamond merchant and Putin pal, Lev Leviev and his long-time partner in crime, Roman Abramovich. They’ve both bought high-six-figure tony digs in London in the past few years. But an invitation to the White House would still make their day. If they can’t make it because they have to bust some guy’s chops, perhaps Marie Antoinette could fill in for them. She’d have to give up on the fancy cake though, and tell the masses: “Let them eat sponge cake.” It’s Passover after all.
The youngest guest will say the Four Questions. If he comes, that might be Jared. But I suggest he add a new twist on the traditional questions. Here’s a new one suggested by Salman Masalha:
Why is this night different for Palestinians than all other nights? Because on this night we Jews get to sit like kings and celebrate the Festival of Freedom, while our brothers and sisters of Ishmael get to sit in the dark and face military closure.
Bibi Netanyahu better watch out. Mandy Patinkin told Stephen Colbert last night that while he had been considering running for prime minister of Israel, he’d just learned before going on the TV show that Kushner was scoping out the job for himself.
The segment contains an impassioned, beautiful defense of immigrants and refugees which should make any Jew proud. It definitely would be a downer for the Trump seder though, so I’d suggest they not watch it at the White House.
Thanks so much for Patinkin interview. He’s a great man, and says what needs to be said so well.
Ariel Shalom says
Happy and kosher Passover Richard.
May you be freed from all the outrage and hatred you show in posts like this and many other on this website.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Ariel Shalom: May you be freed from the moral blindness which allows you to embrace injustice and care about no one but Jews, in particular Jews who lie, steal and cheat others, turning them into refugees just as we were in the land of Egypt.
You decry the outrage, but keep silent about the many causes for the outrage. Moral blindness.
William Burns says
That strikes me as more a reason why that night is the same as all other nights for Palestinians.