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Jewish people around the world this week began the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. In the United States, the beginning of Hanukkah was marked by the lighting of the world’s largest menorah in New York City. The “Festival of Lights” celebrates two miracles — the military victory 2,100 years ago of a small group of Jews against a powerful army that had invaded and occupied Israel, and a one-day supply of oil that miraculously lasted eight days, keeping the eternal flame burning in the holy Temple.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

  • A simple military ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland marked the end of the Iraq war with the return of the U.S. forces’ Iraq colors.
  • Meanwhile in Iraq, the deadliest bombings in months took place this week, leaving at least 57 dead and fears that terrorist groups are exploiting America’s recent departure.
  • Syrian government troops reportedly advanced on a village in northwestern Syria, unleashing what one resident called “an organized massacre.” More than 100 people were killed in one of the bloodiest days of the government’s crackdown against the popular uprisings.
  • A convicted Nazi war criminal lost his bid to return to the United States. Retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted in Germany as an accessory to more than 28,000 murders.
  • One failed suicide bomber from Gaza, released from an Israeli prison as part of the exchange for Gilad Shalit, has expressed her willingness to strap on another bomb and try to kill Israelis.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a Christmas message for Christians around the world.

Listen below to Israel in the News!