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Reuven Rivlin lights 8th Hanukka candle with Danny Danon and Ronald Lauder.(Photo by: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Rivlin to celebrate Hanukka in settlement in light of of UNSC resolution
By GREER FAY CASHMAN
12/25/2016
Although Rivlin planned to be in Beit El, the outcome of the UNSC vote prompted him to emphasize that he will go there specifically to join in the Hanukka celebrations.
Even as settlement activity has become an even hotter potato than usual at the UN, President Reuven Rivlin is planning to cross the Green Line on Monday and light Hanukka candles for the third night of the festival at the Beit El Yeshiva with the institution’s teachers and pupils.

Although Rivlin planned to be in Beit El - regardless of the United Nations Security Council vote - the outcome of the vote prompted him to emphasize that he will go there specifically to join in the Hanukka celebrations.

The symbol of Jerusalem – both as president and in a personal capacity – Rivlin has for many years responded to greetings when interviewed on radio with: “Greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

Following the UNSC vote, Rivlin issued a statement in which he declared: “United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and so it will remain. There is no international body with the power to revoke this status. This disgraceful, serious, and unfortunate decision taken by the UN causes diplomatic damage to Israel. This is a decision which brings us no nearer to negotiations with the Palestinians, but rather makes such a prospect even more distant.

“There has never been and will never be a replacement for direct negotiations between the two sides. We expected that the United States – our greatest ally and friend which has stood unwavering on the side of Israel’s security needs throughout the years – would stand by us at this time and not abandon us, leaving us in the hands of a cynical body driven by alien interests.”

Rivlin concluded the statement with the in-your-face announcement: “The third light of Hanukka I will light in Beit El together with the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.”

As a rule, Hanukka candle lighting ceremonies are open to the media. This one is not, and will only be covered by the Government Press Office. 

Part of Beit El was built on private Palestinian land that was confiscated to serve as a military outpost. The land was later transferred to civilians for the purpose of establishing a settlement. That has led to drawn-out court cases. In the long run, some families were evicted, and the yeshiva was asked to pay compensation.

Three years ago, the yeshiva asked the court to place a ceiling on the amount of compensation that should be paid to Palestinians. It also asked the court to issue an order barring Palestinians from turning to other bodies – including government organizations – with requests for further compensation that would impede the ongoing development of Beit El.

As for media coverage, it is anticipated that the Arutz Sheva website, which is headquartered at Beit El, will circumvent the GPO and report the candle lighting ceremony before other news outlets do so. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at 4:45 p.m.
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