Corbyn hails ‘first national liberation struggle’ in Chanukah greeting

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Corbyn hails ‘first national liberation struggle’ in Chanukah greeting

Labour Party Leader cites spirit of fighting 'oppression and injustice' in his message to the community for the Festival of Lights

Gabriel Pogrund is a journalist at the Sunday Times .

Jeremy Corbyn has described the Chanukah story as the “first national liberation struggle in recorded history” in a message to mark the first night of the Jewish festival.

In a pre-recorded broadcast he says, “as you light candles in the darkest days of the year, I remember that this is a festival celebrating the first national liberation struggle in recorded history.”

Chanukah commemorates the Jews’ victorious revolt against the Seleucid empire over 2100 years ago.

The Islington MP continues: “A small band of Jews inspired by their history of rebelling against slavery held out against an empire defending their people and traditions against oppression and injustice.”

“Later, Hillel was to encapsulate the spirit of Chanukah when he said ““If I am not for me, who is for me; and if I am only for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?”

“So along with the celebrations, we remember the history of Chanukah and in that spirit we resolve to defeat oppression.”

2016 has been a tumultuous year for the Labour Party in its relatioship with the Jewish community.

The party conducted inquiries into alleged anti-Semitism in both Oxford University’s Labour club and across the party as a whole, although the latter concluded the problem was not endemic.

Earlier today Corbyn used his Christmas message to highlight the problem of homelessness in Britain and reflected on the theme of hope.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: