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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 18, 1997


Warm greetings to everyone celebrating Hanukkah.

The Festival of Lights is a powerful reminder each year that the age-old struggle for religious freedom is not yet over. From the days of the ancient Maccabees down to our present time, tyrants have sought to deny people the free expression of their faith and the right to live according to their own conscience and convictions. Hanukkah symbolizes the heroic struggle of all who seek to defeat such oppression and the miracles that come to those full of faith and courage. This holiday holds special meaning for us in America, where freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

The coming year will mark the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, where the story of the first Hanukkah took place so many centuries ago. As families come together in prayer for the eight nights of Hanukkah, to reaffirm their hope in God and their gratitude for His faithfulness to His people, may the candles of the menorah light our way to a true and lasting peace for the people of the Middle East.

Hillary and I extend our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah, all those who work for religious freedom, and all those who devote themselves to the cause of peace throughout the world.


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