Rivlin’s Response: Chanukah Candle Lighting in Beit El

A view of Beit El. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

In a personal protest against the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlement activity, President Reuven Rivlin said that he would attend a festive lighting of the chanukiyah in the Binyamin community of Beit El Monday night. “I will light the third candle in Beit El as my way of uniting with the Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron,” Rivlin said Sunday.

In a statement, Rivlin expressed “strong disappointment” that the U.S. did not veto the resolution Friday that, as the document approved by the Security Council states, “condemns all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.” Yerushalayim is “and will remain Israel’s united capital,” Rivlin said. “No international institution can change this. This awful and worrying decision will not facilitate negotiations with the Palestinians, and if anything pushes them off.

“We hoped that the United States, our ally and great friend that has stood by us in so many security manners without compromise, would do so again, and not subject us to the will of a cynical group that operates from impure interests.”

Writing in a social media post, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippy Hotovely (Likud) said that the decision “was of a type that is likely to change the strategic thinking of Israel. History may show that this U.N. resolution was the beginning of the decision to impose Israeli sovereignty on Yehudah and Shomron. No decision by any body will prevent the Jewish people from building in their land.”

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