US President Donald Trump issued a Hanukkah greeting to the Jewish people on Thursday ahead of the start of the eight-day holiday.

“During this holiday season, the First Lady and I send our warmest greetings to the millions of Jewish people in the United States and around the world as they begin the celebration of Hanukkah and the miracle that kept the flames of the menorah burning in the Second Temple for eight nights,” Trump said.

“The candle-lighting tradition that began over 2,000 years ago is rooted in perseverance and faith—two virtues that are indicative of the Jewish culture and the Jewish faith.

“This year’s observance of the Festival of Lights comes at a time when the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger. Over the past four years, my Administration has stood in unwavering solidarity with the Jewish people. In recent months, we brokered historic peace deals between Israel and major Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, ushering in unprecedented opportunities for enhancing stability and prosperity in the region. As we enter this season of celebration and reflection, we must continue to build on this progress and work toward a brighter and more secure future in the Middle East and around the world.

“Over the next eight days, families and friends will gather to carry on the time-honored tradition of lighting the menorah. The First Lady and I wish you all a joyous celebration. Happy Hanukkah!” the president concluded.

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