JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres broadcast a Chanukah blessing to Jews around the world on his new YouTube channel.
Viewers are asked to reply to Peres’ message with their own comments and video responses, including their personal candlelightings.
"Dear Friends: Yesterday I blessed my Arab citizens because they had their holiday which is called Eid-el Adha, a holiday of good will," Peres’ message says. "Tomorrow, I am going to bless my Christian citizens; they are going to have Christmas. But now, it’s time of Chanukah, our own holiday; full of light, full of optimism, full of hope. Not that everything is so easy and promising, but it’s a clear declaration that finally light will win the day.
"We are going through a difficult period of time. There are many dangers, the Iranians; there are many difficulties, like the negotiations of peace, but I am in charge of optimism. I have the right to be one. Most of the things we have hoped for came true. We continue to hope they will come true as well. We would like to be a contributing people, we can be a contributing people; not only in science and technology, but also in peace and promise. The greatest of them is that all children, ours, the Arabs’, the Christians’ will arrive to a day when their mothers do not have to worry about their safety, which means peace. Light and peace are the two things on which Jewish heritage are based. Thank you. Happy Hanukkah, Chag Chanukah Sameah."