JERUSALEM—Israel’s prime minister had harsh words for Americans celebrating Thanksgiving this year, condemning the holiday for “taking over” Hanukkah.
For the first time in 125 years (and the last for another 79,000), Thanksgiving happens to coincide with the first day of Hanukkah. While many have welcomed the rare alignment of calendars—unofficially dubbed “Thanksgivukkah—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this year’s Thanksgiving holiday “another American attack on the nation of Isreael and Jewish people across the globe.”
Netanyahu threw a fit on Monday after the international community—led by secret talks between Washington and Tehran—brokered a historic nuclear deal with Iran early Sunday. Netanyahu slammed the deal—which allows Iran to continue its enrichment of uranium—as “a historic mistake,” and called on America to make amends by moving Thanksgiving to another date in order to “allow Jews their own holiday, all to ourselves.”
“It’s bad enough that most gentiles already think of Hanukkah as nothing more than Christmas for the Jews. Now the Jewish people have to contend with another made up holiday,” complained Netanyahu.
“This so-called Thanksgivukkah does not make the world a safer place. It makes the world a more dangerous place,” he declared.
Natanyahu drew criticism from the Israeli press for destabilizing the country’s alliance with the United States—Israel’s chief ally—and embarrassing Israel in the international arena.
Writing in the liberal Haaretz newspaper, Chemi Harel suggested that Netanyahu simply “doesn’t get what it means to compromise.”
“When people on opposite sides of an issue come to an agreement, it’s good for everybody. Celebrating Hanukkah and Thanksgiving on the same day is a win-win, but Mr. Netanyahu wants everything to go his way,” wrote Harel.
After U.S. President Barack Obama assured him that no turkey would be served, Netanyahu announced that an Israeli team led by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen would be dispatched to Washington in the coming days to meet with American officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, to further discuss the deal.
But Sec. Kerry noted that, given the fact that terms were already reached in Geneva, there would be little left to discuss.
“As far as the United States is concerned, a deal has already been reached. Getting Netanyahu on board would just be gravy,” Kerry stated.