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Regional News of Saturday, 19 December 2020

Source: GNA

Israel marks 'Hanukkah' with representatives of political parties

Ms Shani Cooper-Zubida, Israeli Ambassador to Ghana called for stronger relations Ms Shani Cooper-Zubida, Israeli Ambassador to Ghana called for stronger relations

The Embassy of Israel on Friday marked its annual “Hanukkah,” (a Jewish festival of lights), in Accra, with representatives of all political parties that contested the December 7 Election in attendance.

Ms Shani Cooper-Zubida, the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, in a short address, said the invitation was part of the activities to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Explaining the rationale behind the annual celebration of the Festival of Lights by the Jew for the past 2,000 years, Ms Cooper-Zubida, said it marked the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army (great Hellenic empire), and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring the menorah (Lamp).

The Miracle of “Hanukkah,” was, therefore, the only place where the vessel of oil was found with just enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for a day, and yet it lasted for eight full days, hence “we light the candelabra to remember the eight days of light in the temple the Jewish priests managed to light after finding it vandalized.”

The Ambassador said the Jews had since marked the event by lighting the menorah with an additional candle to the number from the previous night, playing, and eating special foods unique to the occasion.

She also explained that although the celebrations had been marked each year with a public gathering, the COVID-19 restrictions had made the 2020 festival a unique and symbolic one.

Ms Cooper-Zubida commended the entire Ghanaian population, institutions and political parties for the commitment, sense of accountability and responsibility demonstrated during the elections, applauding the country for making democracy an integral part of the Republic.

“The civil society, the media, the political partial actors, the legal system, security forces and the citizens are all part of this vivid democracy.

“I think that in this election Ghana has shown that democracy is not a miracle. It is the time for Ghana to shine and spread your light around other nations,” she said.

She indicated that for many countries, Ghana was a beacon of light in their struggle for democracy and that Israel supported the democracy in Ghana, and hoped all parties would soon find a solution for their grievances, and prayed for Ghana’s peace and prosperity for the strong fellowship between the two countries.

Ms Cooper-Zubida lighted the eighth candle and prayed, then handed it over to the representatives of the political parties to light the candle, “proclaiming with each proclamation peace, unity, and progress for Ghana and the world at large.”

She congratulated the candidates for upholding to the democratic credentials of the country, before, during, and after the December polls.

She said the Embassy would also like to congratulate the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his reelection.

Present at the ceremony were: Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, of the Convention People’s Party (CPP); Ms Bridgette Akosua Dzobgenuku, of the Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP); and Mr Christian Kwabena Andrews, of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM); and Dr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).

The rest were Mr David Asibi Ayindenaba Apasera of the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC); Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo, of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG); as well as Mr Fred Kwame Asiedu Walker, who contested as an independent candidate.

Dr Emmanuel Marfo, Member of Parliament for Oforikrom, represented the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Also present were members of the Ghana-Israeli Friendship Association and the Ghana Israel Parliamentary Friendship Association.