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The UN's Version of the Hanukkah Story

The UN's Version of the Hanukkah Story

Hanukkah reaffirms that for thousands of years Israel - especially the parts referenced by in last week's UN resolution - has been intertwined with Jewish destiny.

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Friday's UN resolution "...calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967"

In the spirit of that distinction, here is the redacted summary of the battles of the Hanukkah story according to the UN.

In 167 BCE, after launching the revolt in ancient Modi'in Occupied Palestinian Territory against Antiochus IV, the 5 sons of Matityahu set up base camp in the Hills of Beit El Occupied Palestinian Territory.

That same year, Judah Maccabee and his small band of men face off in their first battle against Apollonius in Ma'aleh Levona Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The next major battle, in 166 BCE, is against Seron, who lost to the Maccabees in the hills of Beit Choron Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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A few months later, with a massive Syrian-Greek army headed by Lysias coming his way, Judah and his men gather in Mitzpah Occupied Palestinian Territory, in preparation for an epic battle in Emek Ayalon.

In 164 BCE, a huge battle takes place in Beit Tzur Occupied Palestinian Territory, ultimately resulting in giving the Maccabees access to Jerusalem Occupied Palestinian Territory.

They then make their way to Jerusalem Occupied Palestinian Territory, and rededicate the Temple that stood in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In 162 BCE, the next major battle takes place in Beit Zechariah Occupied Palestinian Territory, where Judah's brother Elazar was killed while attacking a war elephant.

In 161 BCE, Judah defeats a vast army lead by Nicanor in Adasa/Givon Valley Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In 160 BCE, Judah Maccabee is tragically killed during a desperate battle in Elasa/Mt. Bal Hatzor Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Eventually a Jewish State is consolidated 20 years later by the last surviving brother, Simon.

Ironically, Antiochus VII demands that Simon return to him the "illegally occupied" cities of Jaffa, Gezer and the coastal towns, which had previously been controlled by the Syrian-Greeks.

Simon defiantly responds (Maccabees 1 Chapter 15): "We have not taken strange lands, nor are we ruling over foreign territory. We have returned to our ancestral inheritance, from which we had been unjustly expelled by our enemies. And now that we have been blessed with the opportunity, we will hold onto our ancestral land."

Antiochus VII then attacks, and is repelled by Simon's army, paving the way for generations of Hasmonean rule.


Hanukkah celebrates a time in history when God delivered "many in to the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous" (Al Hanissim Prayer). It marks a victory against tyranny and religious persecution.

It also reaffirms a stubborn historical truth which stands firm regardless of one's opinion on the best way to solve the seemingly intractable modern-day conflict: for thousands of years the Land of Israel – especially the parts referenced by in last week's UN resolution – has been profoundly intertwined with Jewish destiny. No amount of Security Council resolutions can ever change that big, beautiful, historical, and inescapable fact. Happy Hanukkah!

December 26, 2016

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 16

(14) Anonymous, December 30, 2016 1:19 PM

No Two State Solution?

Is the point of the article that we should not support a two-state solution? Ironically, that's exactly what John Kerry is saying that Israel's position is secretly. Is he right?

jack forman, January 2, 2017 4:18 AM

No, it's to show that what the UN calls "occupied territory" is historically Jewish

The UN denies Jewish ties to the Old City and the Western Wall as well as to most of the West Bank. In doing so, it undercuts the whole premise of the land-for-peace argument. How can Israel negotiate on the basis of land-for-peace when the UN denies they have any land to negotiate for peace?

(13) jim, December 29, 2016 7:55 AM

facts galore!

hang on, and fight nonsense.

(12) Deborah Iwo, December 28, 2016 9:34 AM

Shame on the UN

No other country is treated so disrespectfully as Israel. Jews have lived in Judaea and Samaria long before there was any such thing as a Palestinian.

(11) Anonymous, December 28, 2016 6:19 AM

Absolutely agree with Ben Kline. Watch out , our ' wonderful enemies', your time is already started in Europe. Europe is finished, her history is only her Past time.

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