The Brew: Hanukkah in the Crosshairs

By Al Perrotta Published on December 5, 2023

Happy Tuesday!

First up, we want to apologize for issues we had yesterday with The Stream site. According to the tech people, the site froze in disbelief at the non-pass interference call at the end of the Packers-Chiefs game Sunday night. Okay, so perhaps that wasn’t it. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

What I don’t understand is what’s happening in Williamsburg.

Traditional Menorah Lighting for Hanukkah Booted Out of Town Holiday Festival

It’s long been tradition to light a menorah in honor of Hanukkah at Williamsburg’s Second Sundays Art & Music Festival. But not this year. Less than two months after the savage, massive terrorist slaughter in Israel, and in the face of a dramatic spike in attacks against Jews, organizers LoveLight Placemaking have nixed the lighting of a menorah. You won’t believe why. Not out of (well-founded) fears that pro-Hamas/pro-Palistinian loyalists and agitators will lay siege to the ceremony. But because of Israel’s response to the terrorist attack. According to a statement from United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula:

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.

Festival founder Shirley Vermillion spun the decision as one of neutrality. “The concern is of folks feeling like we are siding with a group over the other … not a direction we ever decide to head.”

The UJC is calling on LoveLight Placemaking to reconsider the decision and reinstate the apolitical menorah ceremony at the event.

Williamsburg isn’t the only city to snuff out the Festival of Lights. Just the News reports Moncton, Canada, also pulled the plug on a Hannukah-related event.

On the bright side, the BBC reports the Havering Council of east London has reversed its decision not to display a menorah after fierce backlash. They originally nixed the menorah to avoid “further inflaming tensions.” Translation: We were going to give in to the mob.

Hanukkah begins Thursday.

Did You Know Christmas is Racist? According to a Canadian Government Agency It Is

Officials in Canada have taken a few too many hockey pucks to the head. The country’s Human Rights Commission is declaring Canada’s observance of Christmas racist.

See, the celebration is rooted in “colonialism” and “present day systemic religious discrimination,” a recent paper from the commission declares. “Statutory holidays related to Christianity, including Christmas and Easter, are the only Canadian statutory holidays linked to religious holy days.” The commission went on to tie the Christmas issue to the forced conversion of indigenous children back in the day.

Conservative MPs were not happy with the commission trashing Christmas. Said Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc Quebecois: “According to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the simple celebration of Christmas – the tree, the family, the music, the gifts – is systemic racism. I wonder if good old Santa Claus is racist. I wonder if snow has become racist.”

Conservative leader Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was grilled by Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre and others about the Human Rights Commission’s assertions to the point he had to concede, “Obviously. Christmas is not racist.”

Campaign Trail Mix

Let’s grab a couple quick handful of campaign trail mix.

But Not in Business Together? Hunter’s Business Made Monthly Payments to the Big Guy

Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made monthly payments to Joe Biden, the House Oversight Committee revealed Monday. “Owasco PC received payments from Chinese state-linked companies & other shady entities,” Chairman James Comer said, “Joe Biden knew & benefitted from his family’s business schemes.

The payments, starting in 2018, were for $1,380 a month. Not a huge take, considering the millions pouring in, but further documented evidence of a connection between Hunter’s business activities and the former VP.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Last week, the committee released an email from a bank money laundering investigator who smelled a rat with a transfer of funds that burrowed its way from China to Joe Biden’s pockets.

Yet the White House still insists Joe was never in business with his son.

The great Mollie Hemingway is growing frustrated. She bemoans how no one is even trying to explain what oligarchs and others got for the money they gave the Bidens. She’s right. I mean, what was the dough for? Rides in the Big Guy’s awesome Corvette? Painting lessons from Hunter? Medical advice from “Doctor” Jill Biden?

You Are Only Allowed to Vote for Joe Biden in Florida Democratic Primary

You know those countries where the dictator gets 99.9% of the vote because nobody else is allowed on the ballot? Welcome to America, 2024. The Florida Democratic Party has decreed that only the name of Joe Biden will be on the Florida ballot in the presidential primary. In fact, you won’t even be able to write in somebody else’s name. This is the same Joe Biden who accuses his political opposition of being a threat to democracy.

Liberal Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley is not impressed. See his “Democrats Move to Protect Democracy From Itself.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum Drops Out of GOP Race

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has dropped his long-shot bid for the GOP nomination. Burgum announced Monday he’s suspending his campaign. While Burgum made good, common sense points during his two debate appearances, he could not generate the support needed to go forward. In fact, the latest polls from FiveThirtyEight have him at a mere .07%. Still, Burgum gets points for gutting out the first debate with a torn Achilles.

Another GOP Debate Wednesday Night

Gov. Ron DeSantis, former governors Nikki Haley and Chris Christie, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have apparently made the cut for Wednesday night’s GOP debate from the University of Alabama. It’ll air on NewsNation and Rumble. Adding to the interest, one of the questioners will be Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch.

Call and Response

Elon Musk woke up on the wrong side of grumpy Sunday, tweeting out: “We are microbes on a dust mote in a vast emptiness overwhelming dominated by the sun.”

But Not The Bee was quick with a response. “For God so loved that dust mote, that he gave his only begotten male Microbe, that any microbes that believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

They expanded the thought: “When you think about it, this perspective is humbling more than anything. We really are specks of dust in a vast ocean of darkness, but that doesn’t diminish us in the eyes of God. We were created not to be cosmically significant, but to be spiritually significant.”

Have a glorious day!


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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