The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) on Tuesday demanded the reinstatement of next Sunday’s public menorah lighting at the Second Sundays Art and Music Festival in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The lighting was cancelled by LoveLight Placemaking, which claimed that “it did not want to appear to choose sides in the Israel-Hamas conflict.”

Responding to this, SWC said, “SWC demands the reinstatement of next Sunday’s public Menorah lighting in Virginia. This is an act of pure anti-Semitism. No such decision was ever made to cancel celebrations of the Chinese New Year to protest horrific anti-Christian and anti-Muslim policies of Beijing. No one has ever suggested barring celebrations of Muslim faith events because of the terrorism unleashed in its name.”

“This despicable disrespecting of our faith during a time of raging anti-Semitism further endangers every member of the Jewish community. We hope that faith leaders will be joined by political leaders and fellow citizens to demand that the LIGHT of Chanukkah will pierce the darkness of hate.”

Earlier this week, the local Jewish community also criticized the cancellation, saying, “It should be quite clear that this is antisemitism - to say that Jews are connected to or responsible in some way for the policies of Israel and to subject all Jews to political tests just so they can take part in a public event when they are not connected to Israel.”

“These standards are not being enforced against any other community,” they noted.