Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, lit the first Hanukkah candle last at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments in English:

“2,200 years ago, the Maccabees fought the war of liberation for the Jewish people and the Jewish faith against the antisemitic Greeks. They wanted to extinguish our faith, to stamp on our freedom, to drive us out of this land, to say that we have no right to exist.

We have fought against immeasurable odds as no people has fought in history. We crossed the abyss from extinction to survival, independence and now a thriving democracy. And yet, we find ourselves now in the beginning of the 21st century, in the year 2019, where the International Criminal Court, that should know otherwise, has set forth decrees that are just as antisemitic as the decrees of the Greeks.

“They say the Jews do not have a right to settle in the Jewish homeland. They say the Jews do not have a right to live in the land of the Jews, in the Land of Israel. Well, we say, shame on you. The light of truth lights here and we will overcome you, just as we overcame other antisemites in history.

Pure antisemitism, that’s what the ICC has done, and we will not bow our heads.”