ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

search

Lighting menorah, Argentina’s new president says ‘forces of heaven’ will back Israel

Javier Milei, who is fascinated with Judaism, attends Hanukkah event alongside several hostages released by Hamas during recent ceasefire

Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt (L) and Argentina's President Javier Milei (2-R) gesture before lighting a giant menorah for Hanukkah, in Buenos Aires on December 12, 2023. (Juan Mabromata/AFP)
Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt (L) and Argentina's President Javier Milei (2-R) gesture before lighting a giant menorah for Hanukkah, in Buenos Aires on December 12, 2023. (Juan Mabromata/AFP)

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s President Javier Milei on Tuesday took part in the Jewish Hanukkah festival in Buenos Aires, vowing the forces of heaven would support Israel “at this moment.”

Milei, from a Catholic family, is fascinated with Judaism and has been studying the Torah for a few years. Right after his November election, he visited the tomb of a revered rabbi in New York.

Wearing a black kippah, he lit the sixth candle of the eight-day festival which sees a nightly lighting of a candelabrum.

“The main lesson is that light prevails over darkness,” said Milei.

“We know that the forces of heaven will support Argentina and above all will support Israel at this time. Thank you very much and long live freedom, damn it,” he said, finishing with his rallying cry.

Argentina has the largest Jewish community in Latin America, numbering about 250,000 people.

The Hanukkah ceremony was attended by several hostages released by Hamas during a recent ceasefire with Israel, which is fighting a war against the Gaza-ruling terror group after the brutal October 7 attack in which some 1,200 people were slaughtered and around 240 taken hostage.

Argentina’s President Javier Milei (C) speaks with real estate developer Eduardo Sergio Elsztain, before lighting a menorah for Hanukkah in Buenos Aires on December 12, 2023. (Juan Mabromata/AFP)

Milei has said he believes in God — whom he insists is a “libertarian” just like him — and claims his preferred brand of “anarcho-capitalism” is in fact the natural order of the world.

He has also said he regularly consults a rabbi and has said he sees Israel as a “natural” ally, along with the United States.

On Sunday during his inauguration, Milei gifted a menorah — the candelabrum with eight branches — to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.