Stop and think for a moment: the last Gulf War in 1991 ended erev – just before – Purim. This Gulf War began motzei – just after – Shushan Purim. Get the picture? (“This War is for Us,” Ariel Natan Pasko, Arutz Sheva, March, 26 2003)
“It’s not easy to fight for freedom, the struggle of Hanukkah continues to this day. Today we have Iraq and Afghanistan, just like in the past (there were similar struggles for freedom).” (US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, speaking at 2007 lighting of the so-called “National Menorah”)
Soldiers deployed in Iraq celebrate the eighth night of Chanukah 2007 in Saddam Hussein’s Palace.
Aish, December 12, 2007
Celebrating Chanukah 2007 in Saddam Hussein’s Republican Palace, who would think? Yet tonight inside a marble encrusted hall in Baghdad, we lit the eighth light of a hand-made, 6-foot tall menorah. We prayed in Hebrew, joyfully sang a medley of Chanukah songs, ate latkes, and best of all, we were Jews together in the land of our earliest forefathers.
The Jewish community at the US Embassy in Baghdad is growing and thriving to such an extent that we now reliably form a minyan. We call ourselves B’nai Baghdad — a diverse group of US and Coalition uniformed service members and civilians stationed in the International Zone (IZ), known colloquially as the “green zone,” an enclave in central Baghdad that houses Iraqi government officials, various embassies, military headquarters, and international aid organizations.