Britain’s political leaders get festive for Chanucah

Britain’s political leaders have praised the Jewish community at the start of Chanucah.

Labour leader Ed Miliband called the festival a “very special week”. Referring to the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht earlier this month, he said: “There could not be a greater contrast between the darkness of Kristallnacht and the enlightenment of Chanucah.

“This year in homes and city centres across Britain we will once again light the candles of hope. In doing so, we rededicate ourselves to the vision of the Maccabees — to stand against tyranny wherever it rears its head, and to build a society in which all can feel free.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the festival served as a reminder of the “incredible courage and resilience shown by Jewish men, women and children in the face of often overwhelming prejudice and discrimination”.

The Liberal Democrat leader said Jewish families would reflect on “the continuing struggle against antisemitism”.

He added: “That commitment to freedom, hope for the future and ability to endure is evident in every area of Britain’s Jewish community.”

At a menorah-lighting ceremony at Number 10, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Let us celebrate what the Jewish community provides for our country.

“You are the model of how to make a massive contribution by integrating into the fabric of the country while at the same time celebrating what makes us so proud to be British and Jewish.”

Last updated: 12:45pm, November 28 2013