“Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a Hanukkah message.
“And we will stand with you and celebrate with you — at Chanukah and all year round.”
Johnson extolled the “joys of latkes and doughnuts” and marvelled that kids get presents every day for more than a week before turning serious in the two-minute video message posted Sunday on social media.
Hanukkah is “a time to celebrate not just the miracle of the oil but also your unique identity,” Johnson said, adding that the menorah in the window says “I am Jewish and I am proud of it.”
“I know that recent years have not been easy ones for British Jews,” Johnson continued. “Today as Britain’s Jews seek to drive back the darkness of resurgent antisemitism, you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side.”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted out Boris Johnson’s message, saying: “There’s one more reason to be happy this #Hanukkah , because the Jewish People have a true friend in Downing 10. Thank you Boris!”
Johnson defeated Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in elections earlier this month. Corbyn has been accused of allowing antisemitism to take root and flourish in the party – and committed to standing down before the next election.
On Sunday, thousands attended the Chanukah in the Square event in Trafalgar Square, when London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the crowd, “This is your city and you’re going nowhere”.
- Read more about Chanukah in the Square here: Record crowd celebrates at Chanukah in the Square