Obama compares Hanukkah to Star Wars



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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 (TAHL'-vee) said she was lighting the menorah "to say 'no' the darkness of Islamophobia and homophobia and transphobia and racism and anti-Semitism."

Sound:

%@AP Links

245-w-32-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Rabbi Susan Talve)--A White House Hanukkah celebration has featured a woman rabbi defending Islam and Israel's president saying Merry Christmas. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *245 (12/09/15)££ 00:32

231-a-15-(President Barack Obama, at Hanukkah observance in the East Room)-"Star Wars movie (laughter fades)"-President Obama says Hanukkah is a celebration of the triumph of a courageous band of Jewish partisans 2,000 years ago. (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *231 (12/09/15)££ 00:15 "Star Wars movie (laughter fades)"

232-a-12-(President Barack Obama, at Hanukkah observance in the East Room)-"leading the way"-President Obama says the Hanukkah story shows how Jews have always been great champions of freedom of religion. (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *232 (12/09/15)££ 00:12 "leading the way"

233-a-13-(Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, at Hanukkah observance in the East Room)-"for their traditions"-Israeli President Reuven Rivlin says the heroes of the Hanukkah story believed deeply in freedom of worship. (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *233 (12/09/15)££ 00:13 "for their traditions"

246-a-07-(Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, at White House Hanukkah celebration)-"world, Merry Christmas"-Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wishes a happy holiday to Christians as well as Jews. (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *246 (12/09/15)££ 00:07 "world, Merry Christmas"

247-a-16-(Rabbi Susan Talve (TAHL'-vee) of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, at White House Hanukkah celebration)-"dim our hope"-Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, says this year's menorah lighting has a broader meaning. ((longer version of cut used in wrap)) (9 Dec 2015)

<<CUT *247 (12/09/15)££ 00:16 "dim our hope"

234-r-35-(Sound of Rabbi Susan Talve of the Central Reform Congregation of St. Louis leading the prayers for the lighting of the menorah candles, at Hanukkah observance in the East Room)--Sound of Rabbi Susan Talve of the Central Reform Congregation of St. Louis leading the prayers for the lighting of the menorah candles, at Hanukkah observance in the East Room. Updated: 12/09/2015-05:33:07 PM ET (9 Dec 2015)

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