Netanyahu in Rome: Menorah embodies the spirit of our people
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lights candles for fifth night of Hanukkah at the Great Synagogue in Rome • Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta attends event • Netanyahu to Letta: Your commitment to the welfare and security of Israel is clear.
Shlomo Cesana and The Associated Press
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrive at the Vatican on Monday
Photo credit: AP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lit candles for the fifth night of Hanukkah on Sunday at the Great Synagogue in Rome. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta attended the event.
Netanyahu called Letta a true friend of Israel.
"Your commitment to the welfare and security of Israel is clear," Netanyahu said to Letta.
"There is a special relationship between Jerusalem and Rome," Netanyahu said. "No two other cities have such a deep meaning in the history of our people and our shared culture. On this evening, on Hanukkah in particular, this trip to Rome is significant. Here, the Arch of Titus is engraved with the image of a menorah that was looted from the Temple and arrived in a victory parade in Rome. Two thousand years have passed since the destruction of the Temple. The State of Israel is strong and vibrant. And its symbol is the same exact menorah engraved on the Arch of Titus. The [seven-branched] menorah and the hanukkiah [the eight-branched menorah lit on Hanukkah] embody the great spirit that beats within our people."
Letta said Italy's Jewish community is the country's moral compass.
Netanyahu met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday.