President Rivlin: “The light Israel spreads – not just at Chanukah, but every day – will overcome the darkness of extremism, violence, and terrorism”

 President Rivlin addresses WJC Chanukah festival in New York


Copyright: GPO/Kobi Gideon

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
Permanent Representatives to the UN from dozens of countries, diplomats, and senior members of the Jewish community – attended the annual Chanukah Festival of Lights event hosted by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, led by Ambassador Danny Danon. The event was held at the Pierre Hotel and President Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, attended as special guests of honor.
This year’s event, themed “turning darkness to light,” was both a chance to celebrate Chanukah and an opportunity for the UN and the international community to stand together to fight the darkness that was cast upon the world by the terror attacks in Israel, France, the United States and elsewhere.
President Reuven Rivlin said at the event: "Even on Chanukah, when we remember events from long ago, we are all facing the future. This year, the UN adopted  new development goals for the next 15 years. And just last week, Israel set out its goals, to help with development in technology and agriculture in developing countries. As the Jewish, democratic state, Tikkun Olam – healing the world – is part of our core values." He added, "Standing here, surrounded by friends, representatives of nations across the world, I am indeed very proud of Israel’s contribution to working for a better future for all peoples".
The President concluded, "Israel is all too often the target of politically motivated attacks in the UN. But we insist on presenting our views, even as the few against many, in the belief, that the light Israel spreads – not just at Chanukah but every day – will overcome the darkness of extremism, violence, and terrorism. Chanukah’s main message is the victory of light over dark".
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danon said, “In this celebration of the holiday of lights, we must unite against global terrorism, and banish the darkness that this terror has brought upon the world. On this night of Chanukah, when we light the candles of the Menorah, I will dedicate my candle to the memory of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, and pray that we can bring them to a proper burial in Israel as soon as possible."
World Jewish Congress President Lauder, said: "The festival that we call Chanukah has a timeless message, that by creating light on one of the darkest nights of the year, it kindles our strong desire to find a lasting peace in our world."
During the ceremony, candles were lit by President Rivlin, Mr. Lauder and Ambassador Danon.
The event concluded with the musical performance of a Chanukah medley by ‘One Voice’, a project that brings together the Tel Aviv Hebrew Scouts Music group and the Greek Arab orthodox scouts orchestra of Jaffa.