A relief under the Roman Arch of Titus, built in the first century, shows a menorah taken from the temple…
DEA / Archivio J. Lange / The Agostini / Getty Images
Sometimes it’s the most blessed messages that go wrong.
Katolska News Service, a US news agency, wrote a tweet on Sunday saying: “Hanukkah started at sunset. Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!”
A accompanying photo showed a relief from the Titus Arch, a marble structure built in Rome in the first century, reminiscent of the victory of the Roman General, later the Emperor Titus, in the Jewish War 66-74 AD, according to a project at Yeshiva University.
The relief shows Roman soldiers carrying the wreck of the war, including a seven branched menorah from the ruined temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah celebrates rededication of the temple in the second century B.C.
“[B]”  After the Romans had broken Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, they took off all the goods, took it all back to Rome and held an epic rally in Rome to celebrate ” wrote Josh Marshall, editor of the Political Site Talking Points Memo. “The titus arch is like a picture about the rally. It is thus not in the spirit of happy Hanukkah. “
Another Twitter user wrote :” It is a very famous picture, from the inside of the Titus arch in Rome. The [commemorates] conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. This is the opposite of what the Hannuka Conference is about :-). “
According to Steven Fine, Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University and Project Leader there, the arch has long been very symbolic.
” The centuries, the Jews in Rome did not go under what they saw as refugees from Jerusalem with violence to Rome, “he told New York Times in 2012.” Then in the 19th century the bow became a marker of Jewish antiquity and pride, a symbol of exile and redemption that is so important to the Jewish heritage. “
The Catholic News Service removed the tweet shortly after it was sent and sent two apologies tweets.
” Sunday we accidentally broke off an offensive photo. We were sloppy in our tweeting, people were entitled to be insulted, “said the second excuse .” The one who wrote the tweet completely understands the consequences of the image. We apologize again. “