Rabbi Levi Shemtov rebuked the United Nations — and, by implication, the Obama administration — at the National Menorah Lighting in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Sunday evening, criticizing them for an anti-Israel resolution that passed on Friday.
The resolution, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, declares the Israeli presence across the 1967 boundary — i.e. the 1949 armistice lines in Israel’s War of Independence — to be illegal. That means that the Old City of Jerusalem, and the holiest sites of Jerusalem, are illegally occupied, in the eyes of the UN — even though Jews have been living in those places for millennia.
Shemtov, who leads the congregation at American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) on Washington, D.C.’s northwest side, spoke after Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin delivered his opening remarks, representing the president. Szubin hinted at a criticism of the incoming Trump administration for eroding “time honored values and principles that are at the foundation of any decent human society,” though it was not clear exactly what he meant.
Shemtov — whose father pioneered the National Menorah Lighting during the waning days of the Jimmy Carter administration — said (8:04):
Secretary Szubin spoke before of fighting darkness with light. I remember those words being spoken to a particular man by the Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] many, many years ago on Simchat Torah, when we rejoined with the Torah. The Rebbe told him, “You are working in a place where there is great grief and darkness, but remember that in that place of darkness, you can only counter it by lighting a candle. By creating light.”
That man was Benjamin Netanyahu, and he was at the time the [Israeli] ambassador to the United Nations.
So I know that some of us are so sad at what happens there with regard to Israel, we must remember that the way to counter any darkness, any disappointment, is not with harsh rhetoric, not with anger, but by creating light, because when we create light, the darkness dissipates. And we look forward to the day when there will be no more darkness, there will be no more evil, there will be no more disappointment. We will live a life full of life, full of light, full of peace, full of harmony, as we will all be together in the coming of the world to its point of redemption.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.