As Jewish families around the world gather to light the first candle on their Chanukah, I want to wish everyone celebrating this festival of light a very happy and peaceful Chanukah.
As we confront the horrors of growing anti-Semitism and the appalling hate fuelled terrorist attacks that we have seen across Europe, so the themes of freedom and liberty at the heart of the Chanukah story remain as relevant as ever. For just as the Maccabees resisted oppression and kept their faith, to be rewarded by the miracle of a light that burnt for eight nights, so too must we today have the courage to stand up for our values and hold sacred our way of life.
For as long as I am Prime Minister I want you to know that I will stand alongside you and passionately defend your right to practice your faith, free from question or fear. I will do everything I can to keep you and your families safe and to fight the divisive prejudice and extremist ideology that lies at the heart of anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred. And I will celebrate proudly the extraordinary contribution that our Jewish communities make to our country, for as I have said before, Britain would simply not be Britain without its Jews.
So as our Jewish communities come together for this special time, let us take confidence and pride in our values and in doing so let us draw hope from the Chanukah message that light will always overcome darkness and that joy and peace will always overcome hatred.