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December 3, 2018 3:03 pm

US Ambassador to Israel’s Hanukkah Message on Jerusalem Draws Irish Ire

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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad / File.

A Hanukkah message tweeted on Monday by the US envoy to Israel drew a critical response from Ireland’s top diplomat.

Ambassador David Friedman wrote, “More than 2000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The U.N. cant vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel. Happy Chanukah from this blessed city!”

In response, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted, “U are working on a New Peace Initiative that we all hope will be fair, balanced and successful. But comments like this will be seen as provocative and biased. Not helpful in creating the necessary environment of compromise. @UN @UNRWA”

Coveney was in the news last week when he voiced his opposition to legislation advanced by his country’s Senate earlier this week that would ban the import of Israeli settlement goods.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his own Hanukkah message on Monday, saying the holiday “celebrates the great victory of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Greeks over 2,000 years ago.”

“By this war of heroism, the few against the many, Judah Maccabee and his brothers secured the future of Judaism — the survival of the Jewish people,” he added. “So we in Israel, and around the world, celebrate this great victory, this great war of liberation.”

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