British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a special video message wishing Jews a happy Hanukkah Sunday evening, and pledging the support of “every decent person” in Britain to combat rising anti-Semitism in the UK.
“To all our Jewish friends, neighbors, and relatives, wherever you are in the world, let me wish you a very happy Hanukah,” said Johnson.
“And there is every reason to be happy at this time of year. After all, quite aside from the joys of latkes and doughnuts - and I had the pleasure of baking a few myself while I visited Golders Green during the election campaign – who can argue with a festival where the kids get presents every day for more than a week?”
“And it is a time to celebrate not just the miracle of the oil but also your unique identity. To pop the Hanukah menorah in the window and say to the world just as Judah and his small band of poorly equipped Maccabees said to Antiochus III and his mighty Greek army all those years ago, ‘I am Jewish and I am proud of it.’”
Turning to contemporary anti-Semitism in the UK, Johnson said that while the Maccabees fought alone, British Jews will be aided in the fight against anti-Semitism by “every decent person” in the UK.
“And that’s really important right now, because I know that recent years have not been easy ones for British Jews. In the media, on the streets, and particularly online, anti-Semites have, in alarming numbers, been emboldened to crawl out from under their rocks and begin, once again, to spread their brand of noxious hatred far and wide.”
“But as you kindle the Hanukah light tonight and in the nights to come, I want you to remember this: When the Maccabees drove the forces of darkness out of Jerusalem, they had to do so on their own. Today, as Britain’s Jews seek to drive back the darkness of resurgent anti-Semitism, you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side.”
“Because Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.”
“We will stand with you and celebrate with you in Hanukah and all year round.”