When Hanukkah Becomes a ‘War Crime’

Palestinians slam Jews for celebrating Jewish history at the tomb of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Chief rabbi lights Hanukkah menorah at the Cave of the Patriarchs
Photo: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

The Palestinian Authority has never shied away from “going big” in its war of words against Israel and the Jewish people. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people, even in the Arab world, are still listening to this nonsense. But it still bears highlighting just how far Israel’s supposed “peace partners” are from accepting even the most basic of the Jewish state’s conditions.

We all know from reading the Bible that the fathers of Israel and the Jewish nation are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And we also know from Scripture that all three are buried in a cave that Abraham purchased in the city of Hebron. That tomb is today known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and also houses the remains of the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

But in support of their nationalist cause, the Palestinian Authority seeks to rewrite Jewish history, and the Bible itself.

And so, Jews celebrating Jewish festivals at the Cave of the Patriarchs (Judaism’s second holiest site after the Temple Mount) becomes a diabolical colonialist scheme by foreign invaders to usurp a “Muslim” holy site, and thus a “war crime.”

In keeping with that outrageous rhetoric and line of thinking from which the Palestinians no longer seem capable of extracting themselves, Palestinian Authority Supreme Sharia Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash issued a statement (translated by Palestinian Media Watch) strongly denouncing the fact that Jews had dared to light a Hanukkah menorah at the biblical patriarchs’ gravesite.

Al-Habbash, who is also Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ top advisor on religious affairs, accused the Jews of “desecrating” a “pure Islamic heritage” in celebration of their “so-called ‘Jewish holidays.’” Only Muslims have a right to the Cave of the Patriarchs, he insisted, calling the celebration of Hanukkah at the site “an additional ‘war crime’ that the occupation regime is committing.”

And you thought Christian Replacement Theology was bad! The Church, in claiming the superiority of succession, at least still acknowledges the Jews. Muslims like Al-Habbash, who it should be noted is considered an authority on such matters, write the Jews completely out of the story.

Such claims should be offensive not only to the Jewish people, but to every Christian who believes in the authenticity and validity of the Bible. Even those who do not accept the modern State of Israel as a fulfillment of prophecy still can’t sidestep the historical connection between the Jews and sites like the Cave of the Patriarchs without altogether denying the veracity of the biblical record.

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

FREI in Ihrer Inbox