You scream, I scream, and even Dolley Madison screamed for ice cream, serving it at the White House for the first time. Vanilla, of course, and she got the attention of voters with a sweet tooth. Rutherford B. Hayes banned liquor at the White House, trying to encourage Republicans to temperance, so his wife, Lucy, served lemonade. She became known as "Lemonade Lucy," and this embarrassed his secretary of state, accustomed to entertaining diplomats. He boasted after one official dinner that "the water flowed like champagne."
Jackie Kennedy attempted to bring a little sophistication to the White House after Bess Truman and Mamie Eisenhower, whom she regarded as dowdy dames from the Middle West. She introduced French cuisine to state dinner parties, but someone, maybe even her husband, had to step in to scotch the proposal to print the menus in French.
Food and fashion have always been political, and this week President Obama served gefilte fish on White House china, reprising the first White House Seder, which he presided over last year. There was a precedent of a sort; he hosted a Seder during the '08 campaign when Jewish staffers couldn't get home for the holiday. Instead of the traditional toast at the end of the dinner, "next year in Jerusalem," the president raised his glass to "next year in the White House."
Nearly 80 percent of the Jewish voters helped make his toast come true, and no doubt many of them are flattered that the president most hostile to Israel pays a little Passover lip service to the Jews. But certainly not all.
Many other Jews confess to second thoughts, troubled about what his presidency means for the future -- and even the survival -- of Israel. The Obama administration's application of moral equivalence in the dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians ignores the reality writ plain and simple. These Jews do not quarrel with the goal of a two-state solution, but the corrosive double standard makes the goal unobtainable.
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