Rivlin in Hebron lighting candles 311.
(photo credit: REBECCA ANNA STOIL)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) ushered in Hanukka Wednesday by
reiterating that he makes no distinction between Hebron and Jerusalem regarding
Israel’s claim to either city.
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“By building Hebron, Jerusalem itself will
be built,” Rivlin declared while participating in a candlelighting ceremony at
the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, together with soldiers, local Jewish
leaders and yeshiva students.
“We are not trespassers, we are not
looters, and Hebron is not a coin that can be traded in the marketplace,” he
“Hebron was the birthplace of the Kingdom of Israel and on Hanukka,
independence was returned to Israel,” continued Rivlin.
“Hebron was the
basis of our right to the Land of Israel, as a moral right that has no superior,
and the right of ownership that cannot be questioned; it was our right then and
it is our right today.”
Rivlin took a jab both at international criticism
that Israel has no claim to the West Bank, as well as at Israeli leaders who are
ready to relinquish control of any part of Israel.
“When the story of
Hanukka takes place, the leader of Israel, Shimon ben Matisyahu stood with
bravery, determination and faith against a foreign commissioner and a
disconnected rule, and replied without any hesitation that ‘We did not take a
foreign land, nor the property of strangers to us, but rather the Land of our
forefathers which had been conquered in the past by enemies,’” Rivlin told the
audience. “Will we be able to stand by that today as well?” he
Rivlin argued that if Israel rescinded its claims to any part of
Israel, it would eventually lead to delegitimization of the state’s entire
“Today it is clearer than ever that if we ignore our
3,800-year-old right, we will find it difficult to defend our renewed
independence that is only 62 years old,” he warned. “If, God forbid, we are
seduced into thinking that we did take a foreign land, or the property of
strangers in Ariel, in Ma’aleh Adumim, in Gush Etzion and in our capital
Jerusalem, it is doubtful that we will be able to continue to maintain our
Earlier in the afternoon, Rivlin delivered a similar message,
together with the leaders of the Knesset’s Land of Israel Lobby, MK Arye Eldad
(National Union) and coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), as well as Danny
Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the