Rabbi Levi Shemtov, an executive at the American Friends of Lubavitch, has had some choice words for President Barack Obama about the whole UN Security Council vote against Israel last week. The Lubavitch, or Chabad, rabbi took advantage the public forum offered by National Menorah Lighting outside the White House this week to express his dismay over the vote.
To recap, last Friday the UN Security Council voted 14-0 to condemn Israeli settlement building over the pre-1967 border and the Obama Administration declined to exercise America’s power of the veto to stop it, instead abstaining from the vote.
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Rabbi Levi Shemtov recalled how he once heard the late Lubavitcher Rebbe tell the Israeli envoy to the UN about the need for “fighting darkness with light.” Light, as in the lights of the menorah, is an important element of the Channuka holiday.
— Chabad.org (@Chabad) December 21, 2016
“I remember those words being spoken to a particular man by the rabbi many many years ago on [the Jewish holiday] Simchat Torah. The rabbi 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, ” Rabbi Shemtov recounted.
“That man was Benjamin Netanyahu, and he was at the time the ambassador to the United Nations.”
“I know that some of us are so sad at what happened there with regard to Israel, ” added Rabbi Levi Shemtov. “We must remember that the way to counter any darkness, any disappointment is not with harsh rhetoric, not with anger, but when we create light, the darkness dissipates.”
The Rabbi’s comments came at a strenuous time for American – Israel relations. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel supporters in America have been attacking President Obama for not vetoing the vote and have even gone so far as to say that he was behind the UN resolution.