Perry likens Hanukkah to Boston Tea Party

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, second from left, dances with, left to right, Rabbi Zev Johnson, Rabbi Mendy Leverton, Gregg Phillipson, Rabbi Yossi Lazarof and Rabbi Shimon Lazarof during a menorah lighting ceremony on the first night of Hanukkah at the Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in Austin. Dozens attended the event hosted by Chabad Austin. Perry and State Rep. Elliott Naishtat were hoisted by a fire ladder truck to light the first candle. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is marking the first night of Hanukkah by likening the Jewish Festival of Lights to the Boston Tea Party.

In a statement Tuesday, Perry compared Jewish Maccabee rebels to American colonists who protested against British rule in 1773.

The Republican said it was "fitting" that this year's first night of Hanukkah falls on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.

Perry said the Maccabees "knew, as the Jewish people know, that the few can overcome the many" and that "faith can transcend persecution." He also saluted "our ally, Israel."

Perry leaves office Jan. 20 but is mulling a second presidential run in 2016.

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