Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement to mark the beginning of Hanukkah on December 24, 2016:
“At sunset today, the Jewish community in Canada and around the world will welcome the beginning of Hanukkah, the 8-day Festival of Lights.
“Hanukkah commemorates the struggle of the Jewish people to overcome adversity, and to find light in times of unspeakable suffering. It teaches us that peace can reign triumphant and that, by working together, we can build a brighter, better world for ourselves and our children.
“To mark this occasion, family and friends will gather to pray, sing, and light the menorah. They will enjoy food and tell stories of hopefulness and optimism.
“On behalf of Sophie and our three children, I invite all our country’s citizens to reflect on the immense contributions that Jewish Canadians make to our nation, and wish all those celebrating a happy and peaceful Hanukkah.”
“Chag Hanukkah Sameach”
Unlike the statement from the Conservative Party which recognized the Jews as indigenous people of Israel by referring to a group of Jewish believers who “overcame persecution and courageously repelled their oppressors, liberating Jerusalem and reclaiming the Holy Temple”, Trudeau, did not mention the Temple Mount, Jerusalem or land of Israel. The Jewish history in Jerusalem was summarized in one sentence as only “the struggle of the Jewish people to overcome adversity, and to find light in times of unspeakable suffering”.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]