Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull helped light the menorah on Friday afternoon at Central Synagogue in Sydney on the seventh day of Chanukah. Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Levi Wolff, rabbi of the congregation, and others watched as Turnbull in lit the shamash candle on the menorah so that the others, in turn, could be ignited.
“As the candles of the Chanukah are lit each night, we are reminded of the enduring resilience and courage of the Jewish people in the face of the darkest adversity,” said Turnbull. “Australia would not be the remarkable nation it is—the most successful multicultural society in the world—without the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish community.”
Wolff reported that the visit was prompted after he received a phone call from the prime minister earlier in the day. “He related that our Jewish community was in his thoughts during this turbulent week for Israel and the Jewish people,” said the rabbi.
At the event, Turnbull criticized the recent U.N. Security Council resolution against Israel, calling it “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling.”
Stating that a solution “can only be negotiated between the parties,” he added that “it is not assisted by one-sided resolutions made at the councils of the United Nations or anywhere else.”
“Above all,” he concluded, “we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the fight against terrorists.”
Trumbull then danced with the congregation during the Chanukah celebration, which took place before the onset of Shabbat.