A day ahead of Hanukkah 2011, comedian Jackie Mason took to Aaron Klein's WABC radio show to slam President Obama for celebrating the Jewish holiday a week early.
His biting criticism of the president's early celebration follows Rush Limbaugh's assault on Dec. 9, when the conservative pundit accused Obama of thinking Hanukkah was Kwanzaa.
'Extending the Holiday Spirit'
Mason, a comedy legend called The Ultimate Jew by his fans, ripped into President Obama's Hanukkah 2011 event, which was held 12 days too early.
You want me to tell the truth? he told Aaron Klein on his New York radio show on Dec. 19. I don't think he cares, or knows or remembers which Hanukkah it is, or what Hanukkah means.
During the early celebration on Dec. 8, President Obama reflected on the story behind Hanukkah, saying it was a tale even us Gentiles were familiar with. It's a story of right over might, of faith over doubt, Obama said in his remarks. It's a timeless story. And for 2,000 years, it has given hope to Jews everywhere who are struggling. And today, it reminds us that miracles come in all shapes and sizes.
The way I see it, we're just extending the holiday spirit, Obama said about the earlier date. He joked that parents should be careful if they're letting their children watch the event. Be careful that your kids don't start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight, he said. That will cause some problems.
'If you wanna get them back, Hanukkah is a good idea.'
Comedian Jackie Mason, however, didn't get the joke. He doesn't know [about Hanukkah], he doesn't care, Mason said. He's strictly there to take the picture.
Continuing his assault, Mason also accused the president of holding the Hanukkah 2011 celebration as a condescending outreach effort to Jewish voters, one that his advisers (he has more Jews in his cabinet than [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu, Mason quipped) cooked up to aid his 2012 campaign.
He's jammed up with Jews all around him, and they told him, 'If you wanna get them back, Hanukkah is a good idea,'Mason said in a final biting critique, noting that the First Family (minus Obama) is now en route to Hawaii for their Christmas vacation.
'You don't have to go any place. We'll put down the tchotchke and you'll see a candle, you'll light it from this side, and that's enough information for him to accumulate without a teleprompter. So he did it in 10 minutes.'
Rush Limbaugh: He thought it was Kwanzaa.'
Jackie Mason has never been a fan of President Obama's to begin with. In 2007, he posted a video blog calling Obama a mindless man who was the product of political hyping and white guilt. In 2009, he called the president a schvartze, a Yiddish word which many view as an outdated and offensive racial epithet.
But if Mason was critical of Obama's early Hanukkah celebration, the comedian also took several minutes on the New York radio show to slam Newt Gingrich, saying the politician should hold a debate with himself.
Not so with Rush Limbaugh when the conservative radio host tore into Obama for the early Hanukkah 2011 celebration back on Dec. 9. During the show, Limbaugh speculated that Obama lit the Hanukkah candles because he thought it was Kwanzaa, noting that the president lit all the candles at once.
Limbaugh went on to mock Kwanzaa's origins, saying it was founded to stop the Christmas season exploitation of African-Americans.
Was it [the exploitation] all the black Santa Clauses that were out there in the department stores? Limbaugh asked.
Obama Confuses Hanukkah with Kwanzaa
President Obama: 'Chag Sameach'
President Obama's decision to hold Hanukkah 2011 almost two weeks early may have ended up being a somewhat controversial decision, one that Jackie Mason is joining Limbaugh in censoring him for, but the president has already posted a comeback: a Hanukkah letter from the First Family released today.
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world, Obama said.
This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of a band of believers who rose up and freed their people... it is a story that reminds us to count our blessings, to honor the sacrifices of our ancestors, and to believe that through faith and determination, we can work together to build a brighter, better world for generations to come.
From our family to the Jewish Community around the world, Chag Sameach, the holiday letter ended.