In a Dec. 28, 2019 article in the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, ‘Abdallah Kan’an, secretary-general of Jordan’s Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, wrote that the festival of Hanukkah is based on traditions relating to the “false” Jewish Temple, and therefore constitutes a direct threat to the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. Titled “The Festival of Lights: A Zionist Colonialist Ritual, Not a Jewish Religious Festival,” the article claims that Israel and right-wing organizations in it use Hanukkah to further their plans of Judaizing Jerusalem and to carry out mass raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque “in the guise of Talmudic religious rituals.”
It should be noted that the article was published amid tension between Israel and Jordan, including over the Jordanian Waqf’s management of the Al-Aqsa compound and Jordan’s opposition to Jewish worshipers visiting the compound. A month ago, Jordan’s king even said that “relations with Israel are at an all-time low.”
The following are excerpts from Kan’an’s article.
“In realizing its Zionist plans in Palestine and Jerusalem, Israel’s colonialist occupation policy relies on phony religious justifications and excuses designed to mislead global opinion and elicit its support. The religious rituals create an atmosphere that allows the Israeli government and the right-wing organizations that support it to carry out their systematic Judaizing programs in Jerusalem that target the entire area of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque (144 dunams).
“The Jews are currently celebrating the Festival of Lights, or Hannukah … , commemorating the building and dedication of the false Second Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C. The misleading Jewish tradition claims that some Jews needed olive oil to light the seven-branched candelabra, but they only had enough oil for one day. But by a miracle, they claim, this small amount lasted for the eight days required to produce more oil. The main ritual of this holiday is the lighting of the eight-branched candelabra (called hanukkiah) after sundown. On the first night of the holiday a single candle is lit while chanting certain prayers, and this is repeated each night until the end of the holiday, on which all eight candles are lit. In addition, large electric candelabras are erected in squares and public buildings.
“This Jewish festival is believed to pose the greatest danger to the Muslim and Christian holy places, for it is the only festival that is connected, according to their lies and traditions, to their false temple, and therefore it constitutes a direct threat to Al-Aqsa. Researchers know that Hanukkah is not one of the Jewish holidays mentioned in the Torah, yet it is one of the most popular [Jewish] holidays. On this holiday, organizations such as Women for the Temple, Students for Temple Mount, Leeba and the Temple Organization Headquarters call on the Zionist settlers to storm Al-Aqsa en masse, repeatedly and intensively, in the guise of carrying out Talmudic rituals there to mark the Festival of Lights. They call to place a hanukkiah in the very heart of the mosque, in addition to the one installed near the Al-Buraq Wall [i.e., the Western Wall].”
Read full article at MEMRI.