Tottenham and Arsenal make the same Hanukkah mistake on social media

Attempts by Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to mark the start of Hanukkah backfired spectacularly after both posted images of candelabras with the incorrect number of branches.

Both clubs posted “Happy Hanukkah” messages on Instagram featuring 11- and seven-branched candelabras, respectively – instead of the correct nine-branched Hanukkah.

Spurs’ mistake was quickly spotted by Daniel Sugarman, director of public affairs for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who posted on X: “I mean…of ANY football team in the UK , I would have assumed that Spurs would have at least one Jewish person on their social media team…”

Tottenham, who actually have someone Jewish on their social media team, quickly deleted a post that also contained images of the Star of David.

It was then replaced with the one they had used a year earlier, featuring a candelabra with the correct number of branches but without the Star of David.

A spokesperson attributed the original message to “a human error which was quickly rectified.”

Arsenal’s original post remained online for seven hours after being uploaded to Instagram and X before being replaced by a nine-branched candelabra. A spokesperson has been contacted for comment.

The Arsenal postThe Arsenal post

Arsenal post featured a seven-branched candelabra, instead of the correct nine-branched Hanukkiah – Instagram

Eight of the nine branches of a Hanukkah hold lights – usually candles or oil lamps – to symbolize the eight days of Hanukkah, during which one is lit each night until all eight are lit.

The ninth branch contains a candle, called a shamash (helper or servant), which is used to light the other eight.

Hanukkiah is distinct from the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

Following the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, Spurs and Arsenal were among those criticized for their silence over the atrocities.

They eventually released statements, but Tottenham’s were condemned by the chairman of their Tribute Trust, Jonathan Adelman, who tendered his resignation.

Appalled by the lack of specific mention of the terrorist attack or the trauma experienced by the club’s many Jewish supporters, Adelman accused them of a “catastrophic failure of moral clarity” following “the savage butchery of Jews.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then get a year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.