Trump hails Jerusalem decision at White House Hanukkah party

President Trump lapped up the festivities at the White House Hanukkah celebration just one day after he bucked years of American foreign policy to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump entered The East Room to cheers and addressed the crowd saying he knew there were a lot of happy people in the room before declaring, “Jerusalem,” according to pool reports.

Trump, who shared the origins of Hanukkah, and allowed his grandchildren to light the two Menorahs in the room, credited the Jewish people for their faith and resilience.

Photos from the White House Hanukkah party:

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Donald and Melania Trump host Hanukkah reception at the White House
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Donald and Melania Trump host Hanukkah reception at the White House
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump host a Hanukkah Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Ivanka Trump holds her son Theodore (C) alongside Jared Kushner (R), senior White House advisor, attends a Hanukkah reception hosted by US President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump passes his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner during a Hanukkah Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump receives applause as he hosts a Hanukkah Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (C) attends a Hanukkah reception hosted by US President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a Hanukkah Reception at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner attends a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Holocaust survivor Louise Lawrence-Israels (R) speaks alongside US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (L) during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: (L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump and White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner attend a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
First Lady Melania Trump attends a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks alongside First Lady Melania Trump (L), Holocaust survivor Louise Lawrence-Israels (2nd L) and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik (R) during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: (L to R) First lady Melania Trump and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: (L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump talks with White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner as they attend a Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: (L to R) Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, son Theodore Kushner, and White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner attend Hanukkah Reception in the East Room of the White House, December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12 this year. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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“No force has ever crushed your spirit, and no evil has ever extinguished your faith — and that is why the Jewish people shine as a light to all Nations,” Trump said, before highlighting Jerusalem again.

While attendees celebrated the major policy shift and enjoyed kosher snacks and wine five days before Hanukkah, Democratic legislators and Jewish figures who were previously critical of Trump were left out in the cold.

“It’s deeply unfortunate that the White House Hanukkah Party — a bipartisan event bringing together Jewish and non-Jewish leaders alike to celebrate the Festival of Lights since 2001 — has turned into a partisan affair under this administration,” Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York said in a statement to the NYTimes.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, was not invited after he criticized the president for his response to the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va.

He also slammed Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which has set off clashes in the West Bank along with protests across the Middle East.

While Trump is known for holding a grudge, a spokesperson for Melania Trump, whose office oversees social events, said the celebration this year was “meant to be more personal than political.”

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