Hamas adds new ally. Williamsburg Festival Organizers. Yes my friends, the terrorists have a friend in the Williamsburg Festival Organizers. Why do I say that? Look at what I found.
The Virginia Gazette News reported:
A menorah lighting was scheduled for the 2nd Sundays Art and Music Festival on Dec. 10. Each month from March to December, the community event hosts artisans, street performers and food vendors, and Jewish leaders were told that the board was not comfortable allowing the lighting at the festival.
Dec. 7 marks the first night of Hanukkah. According to a statement from the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula, the lighting was going to be held by a local rabbi and had nothing to do with the Israel-Hamas war. The statement says Jewish leaders were told the event would appear to choose sides in the conflict, and organizers would reschedule the celebration if it were held under a “ceasefire” banner.
In a statement, the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula said:
The Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula is shocked and alarmed at LoveLight Placemaking’s decision to cancel a menorah lighting scheduled for the Second Sundays Art and Music Festival on Dec 10 in Williamsburg – claiming it did not want to appear to choose sides in the Israel-Hamas conflict. To be clear, the menorah lighting, which was to be led by a local community rabbi, had nothing to do with Israel or the conflict.
Yet, appallingly, the event organizer claimed that a Chanukah celebration would send a message that the festival was “supporting the killing/bombing of thousands of men, women, and children,” — and even went a step further, by offering to reinstate the event if it was done under a banner calling for a ceasefire.
We should be very clear: it is antisemitic to hold Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s policies and actions, and to require a political litmus test for Jews’ participation in community events that have nothing to do with Israel. Those standards would never be applied to another community.
Since October 7th, we have repeatedly seen cases of Jewish people and institutions – including synagogues, Jewish homes and businesses – being targeted, sometimes violently, by those opposed to Israel or its actions. At a time of well-documented, rising antisemitism, the singling out and targeting of Jews is dangerous and harmful, serving to further exclude and alienate our community.
The Second Sundays Art & Music Festival has been a meaningful and important community event that brings people together under a powerful message of unity, love and light. Excluding Jewish participation from a festival that should welcome everyone undermines its very message. We call on LoveLight Placemaking to reconsider our request to engage in dialogue, educate themselves on the harmfulness of their decision, and reinstate the apolitical Menorah ceremony at the event.