Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night put the U.N. Security Council resolution – which effectively declares Israel’s presence in the Old City of Jerusalem to be illegal – into historical context, pointing to the longstanding Jewish heritage there.
Speaking against the backdrop of the Western Wall, Netanyahu lit a candle for the second night of Hanukkah, the holiday that marks the rededication of the Temple after a Jewish revolt against a pagan kingdom almost 2,200 years ago.
“According to the U.N. resolution, the Maccabees did not liberate Jerusalem, they occupied Palestinian territory,” Netanyahu said. “According to the U.N. resolution, the villages that they started out from in the Modi’in area [north-west of Jerusalem], those villages and that area were occupied Palestinian territory.”
“Of course the Palestinians arrived much later,” he declared. “We were here much earlier.”