Zagreb - The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah was marked officially in the Croatian Parliament on Thursday, by lighting the Hanukkah candles.
The event, organised by the Croatia-Israel interparliamentary friendship group, was attended by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor, Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, and the head of the Croatia-Israel interparliamentary friendship group, Marijana Petir, who lit the candles.
Jandroković said he had witnessed the development of the Croatia-Israeli relations since the early 1990s, when, he said, "we did not understand each other so well", to the present day, when "those relations are the best ever, based on friendship and partnership."
We have achieved a high level of understanding for mutual values and our place in international relations, Jandroković said, adding that the two countries share the same views on many global and international challenges.
We belong to the Judeo-Christian civilisation that shares, to a large extent, the same or similar values, and I am confident that in the time to come to Croatia and Israel will build even stronger ties because the world today is such that we must look for friends and allies, for partners which we can rely on. Croatia has demonstrated that position to Israel on a number of occasions and vice versa, and I am confident that we will continue doing so in the future, said Jandroković.
Ambassador Mor said that the holiday of Hanukkah symbolised dedication, and that connected with it was a legend of the miracle of light that burned in the Temple for eight days even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day's lighting. Therefore eight candles are lit on a menorah to symbolise eight days that celebrate the rededication of the Temple, he said.
Ambassador Mor said that he considered it a great honour that a Hanukkah candle would be lit in the Croatian parliament, which he described as yet another proof of the friendship between the two countries that share the same values.
The holiday of Hanukkah is marked at the time of preparations for the holiday of Christmas, which confirms how close our two religions are, the ambassador said, offering his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
The Hanukkah menorah is traditionally lit every evening during the eight-day holiday.