A public school in Rochester, Minnesota removed a Hanukkah song from a concert and many residents suspect it was to appease pro-Palestinian sympathizers.
Television station KTTC reports they received a call from a concerned parent.
“The parent said they found out from their student that the choir was originally going to sing a Hanukkah song, but the choir teacher decided to remove it, as she said it would be ‘controversial’ due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war,” the television station reported.
The school district contends the song was removed because it was too difficult for children to sing.
“A teacher removed two songs from the planned repertoire of holiday songs: a Kwanzaa song and a Hanukkah song. Both proved too difficult to learn to the quality expected within the time available.
In addition, several students expressed concern that singing a traditionally Jewish song could be perceived as taking a side in the ongoing international conflict. The teacher engaged in dialogue with the students, which led to the teacher’s decision to remove these two songs from the concert program in early November.
The District does not consider a song from any faith tradition to be inherently controversial.”Rochester Public Schools
In Westbrook, Maine, a Star of David was removed from a Winter festival. Arab-American residents were reportedly offended by the image.
“We know this is a frustrating decision for some members of our community,” Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley said in a statement. “However, we take our legal responsibilities very seriously and this means providing a light show that everyone in our diverse community can equally enjoy.”
The mayor told NewsCenter Maine that they banned the Star of David based on a bad interpretation of the Constitution.
“This decision aligns with legal requirements including the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause and subsequent court rulings which determined certain icons to be non-religious, including Christmas trees, dreidels, and snowflakes,” Foley added.
And a menorah lighting ceremony in Williamsburg, Virignia was canceled over fears that it could offend pro-Palestinians.
Shirley Vermillion, the festival’s founder, told the Daily Press that the menorah lighting “seemed very inappropriate” given the war.
“The concern is of folks feeling like we are siding with a group over the other… not a direction we ever decide to head,” Vermillion said.
The United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula issued a statement condemning the decision.
“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,” the statement said. “Those standards would never be applied to another community.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin condemned the cancellation.
“Singling out the Jewish community by canceling this Hanukkah celebration is absurd and antisemitic,” Youngkin tweeted.
It’s frustrating to see so many people surrendering to the cancel culture mob. Jewish Americans have every right to celebrate Hanukkah without having to look over their shoulders. This is insanity. Never give in to the mob.