In a landmark decision, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to cancel Hanukkah saying that it is unconstitutional, unethical and unhealthy.
The decision came after Badallah, representing justice for the downtrodden Muslim terrorist minority in Israel, argued that the state-sanctioned holiday discriminates against non-Jews who are not only prevented from celebrating because of their religious beliefs, but are actually referred to in holiday texts as "vicious, violent anti-Semitic brutes."
The attorney representing the human rights organization said that such a description is racist, dehumanizing and unacceptable in a modern, tolerant, multicultural society as Israel purports to be.
In the decision, the presiding judges, led by Head Justice Dorit Beinish, seemed to agree with this approach saying that Hanukkah is a primitive glorification of nationalist and religious violence, "which is the last thing this country needs to encourage, while it is in the midst of a historic peace process," said the decision.
The judges also said that the story of Hanukkah exhibits paranoid tendencies which also should not be widely upheld, "The idea that there are individuals or nations that are 'out to get the Jews', as described in the holiday rituals is preposterous; the idea that anyone would wish to exterminate the Jews or convert them wholesale is even worse and borders on lunacy," said the decision written by Beinish, who concluded, "Hanukkah is a racist, discriminatory holiday which encourages violence, nationalism, rebellion against authority, belief in the supernatural as well as paranoia, xenophobia and genocidophobia and as such it is contrary to everything this court stands for and therefore - illegal."
According to the decision the state will have to rescind funding of the holiday and halt its dissemination and practice or else change its content to make it acceptable and practicable by all minorities in the country.
For instance, one solution the court suggested would be to celebrate Hanukkah as "Festival of the Lights of Peace":
"Everyone can participate since everyone wishes Peace," said Beinish, who proposed the idea, "And each day the whole country can unite in lighting a candle for a different cause – the first day will be for Peace of course, but afterwards candles could be lit for repressed minorities such as Moslem and Christian and the Druze and Bedouin. The remaining candles could represent woman's liberation and the gay community. The significance of the last candle will remain a 'joker', to be decided upon each year by a multi-cultural panel of interfaith and cross-gender experts."
The Supreme Court has yet to address the sticky question of donuts and potato latkes, which will be discussed in an emergency session tomorrow.
Hanukkah – enjoy it while you can!!
Related: The story of Hannukah from the quite lovable Israeli Grouch.
See also: other posts from ISL in the Judaism category