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December 18, 2020 10:38 am

‘Hanukkah Is Hope for Tomorrow’: Moroccan UN Envoy Lights Menorah With Israeli Counterpart

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan and his Moroccan counterpart, Omar Hilale, hold a Hanukkah candle together, Dec. 17, 2020. Photo: Ido Siman-Tov / Israeli UN Mission.

Israel’s UN envoy, Gilad Erdan, hosted on Thursday a menorah-lighting ceremony in which his counterparts from Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — all countries which recently normalized ties with the Jewish state — took part.

Morocco’s UN ambassador, Omar Hilale, attended the event — held to mark the eighth and final night of Hanukkah — in person and jointly lit a candle with Erdan.

Erdan commented, “The deep connection between Morocco and the Jewish people dates back thousands of years. Renewing these relations fulfills the dream of many Israelis of Moroccan heritage, who remain proud of their roots and have a great love for the country.”

“If you would have told me just a few months ago that I would be lighting Hanukkah candles with my friends from the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, I would have said impossible,” he added. “But here we are, sending a message of hope to the young people of our region that anything is possible.”

Hilale described Hanukkah as “the hope for tomorrow.”

“Hanukkah is peace,” he said. “Hanukkah is existing together. Hanukkah is loving each other. Hanukkah is rejecting violence. Hanukkah is combating terrorism. Hanukkah is building bridges between people, civilization and culture.”

“We are all the sons of Abraham, and at the end of the day, we must sit together to make peace together, to exist together and to make a better future together for the next generation,” Hilale declared.

Among the more than 150 dignitaries taking part in the ceremony virtually was US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft.

“Today, though we are not witnessing the miracle of one day’s lamp of oil lasting eight days, we are witnessing a transformation in lands of Abrahamic faith from the Holy Land in the Levant to the Arabian Peninsula and to Africa,” she stated. “The Abraham Accords have transformed 2020 into a year of peace.”

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