PM Netanyahu Lights First Chanukah Candle with IDF Soldiers
Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lit the first Chanukah candle with IDF soldiers and told them:
 
"I am proud to be here and light the first Chanukah candle with you in the birthplace of the Maccabees. We then stood, the few against the many, and we won. We set light against the darkness and we were victorious. This battle is also taking place today. The battle for Israel’s revival is not over; it is taking place always.
 
The great change in the annals of our people is that we have restored our sovereignty here. We have not stopped, and we cannot stop, the desire to destroy us. They rise against us anew in every generation. But what happened with the revival of the State of Israel is that we remade the ability to return the fight. This was the vision of the founders of Zionism. They did not say that anti-Semitism would disappear from the world when the State of Israel arose. They said that the Jews would stop being defenseless and helpless in the face of those who would slaughter us, and the latter cannot win. They said that we would form a state and an army and would be able to fight for our lives – and this is exactly what happened.
 
I would like to tell you how I came here. I am here because my grandfather, Rabbi Natan Milkovsky Netanyahu, as a young person, studied in a yeshiva in Lithuania and one day he worked in a railway station with his younger brother Yehuda. He saw a group of anti-Semitic hooligans. They identified them as Jews, the yeshiva students, and they fell upon them. They ran toward them with clubs, shouting ‘Death to the Jews’. My grandfather told his younger brother Yehuda, ‘Run, I will stop them.’ He understood that he was going to sacrifice himself to save his younger brother. He was savagely beaten until he was almost dead. Sprawled in the mud and the snow, he told himself, ‘What a disgrace that the descendants of the Maccabees lay sprawled here in blood and dirt.’ Before he lost consciousness he vowed, ‘If I live, I will take my family and go to the Land of Israel in order to renew Jewish independence there and the Maccabees will rise again.’
 
And here we are at the tombs of the Maccabees – and the Maccabees have arisen again to defend the Jewish People. This does not mean that there is no darkness round us; there is a lot of darkness.  Extremist Islam is striking at the entire world – Canada, Australia, Pakistan and also here, at least it is trying.
 
Just yesterday we announced that a suicide attempt – by a woman terrorist who wanted to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv – had been foiled. These counter-terrorism actions are taking place daily thanks to the men and women of the security services and the brave soldiers of the IDF. You watch over us and we watch over you. While we are talking, the Palestinian Authority is planning to go to the International Criminal Court and accuse us of war crimes. What brazen gall. The Palestinian Authority that praises terrorists, reprehensible murderers, comes to accuse the IDF, the most moral army in the world, of war crimes?
 
You need not be concerned. We will not allow them to do this and they will not succeed. You continue to watch over us and we will continue to watch over you.
 
A happy Chanukah to you all."