Photo Credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Great Synagogue of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara visited the Great Synagogue of Astana, in the capital of Kazakhstan, attending an event together with members of the Jewish community and the local Chabad House.

“Israel receives a strong standing among the nations not with a bowed head, but by being steadfast and proud,” the prime minister told those gathered. “And I say this here, in Central Asia, in an Islamic country that respects Israel, that honors coexistence and tolerance, and constitutes a model of what needs to happen – and can happen – in our region as well.

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“Perhaps the most dramatic change, which the Lubavitcher Rebbe could not have foreseen, is what is happening between us and the Arab world but I will tell you about that another time. Great changes have come in the spirit of that first meeting when he said ‘Light the candle of truth, do not be afraid, be strong and of good courage.’

“So here, in this synagogue, in the spirit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on this historic visit, I tell you together with the people in my delegation and together with my wife: ‘The Glory of Israel will not lie [I Samuel 15:29]’.

“A Happy Hanukkah to you all.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.