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Virginia Art And Music Festival Cancels Menorah Lighting Amidst Israel-Hamas Conflict

via WCVB Channel 5 Boston
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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin criticized the cancellation of a Hanukkah menorah lighting at an art and music festival in Williamsburg, Virginia, calling the decision antisemitic.

The festival’s founder cited the conflict between Israel and Hamas as the reason for the cancellation, causing backlash from the Jewish community.

“Singling out the Jewish community by canceling this Hanukkah celebration is absurd and antisemitic,” Youngkin posted. (Trending: Olympic Gold Medalist Sentenced For Jan 6)

“The event organizers should immediately reconsider their actions and move forward with the menorah lighting,” the governor added.

“The concern is of folks feeling like we are siding with a group over the other… not a direction we ever decide to head,” festival founder Shirley Vermillion said.

“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 cease-fire,” the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula stated.

“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,” they added.

“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,” they pressed.

The cancellation reflects a broader trend of rising antisemitism in America, exemplified by recent anti-Israel protests.

The incident has spurred widespread condemnation, including from the White House and Pennsylvania officials.

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