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PA Arabs Upset Over Chanukah Menorahs

Arabs are unhappy with the fact that Jews have put up oversized Chanukah menorahs throughout Judea and Samaria, to celebrate Chanukah.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/1/2010, 7:15 PM / Last Update: 12/1/2010, 7:12 PM

Shomron Liaison Bureau

The local Jewish leadership in Judea and Samaria has put up oversized Chanukah menorahs throughout the land of the Forefathers – and the local Arabs don't seem to like it.

The "WAFA" Palestinian Authority News Agency reported Wednesday about a new large menorah put up at Tapuach Junction, near Shechem, on its Arabic-language website.

“Witnesses said that the menorah was set by a crane near the Za'tara triangle [Tapuach Junction], a few kilometers south of Nablus [Shechem], and pointed out that this region is a center to a number of extremist Jewish settlements.

"The menorah is often used in Jewish religious rituals, and it seeks to impose settler ideology in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] through these actions," WAFA complained.

David Ha'ivri, Director of the Shomron Liaison Office, said in response: “Chanukah is one of the most nationally identifying holidays of the Jewish people. We celebrate the amazing victories of the Maccabees who fought against all odds and succeeded in freeing our holy city Jerusalem from the Greek invaders and re-lit the candles of the Menorah on the Temple Mount.”

“Historically, all of the battles of the Jewish army under the leadership of Yehudah Maccabee took place within the areas of Judea and Samaria and the most famous of them all was the purification of the Temple Mount.

“Those are the events that we celebrate for eight days starting tonight. Around the world, Jews will hold public displays of the candle lighting but there is no place more significant for showing the light of Chanukah than Judea and Samaria.”

The Yesha Council, an umbrella group of the Jewish local authorities in Judea and Samaria, is holding public candle-lighting ceremonies on every night of Chanukah except Friday and Saturday evenings, at different sites of Maccabean victories.