Calgary mayor won't attend Hanukkah ceremony because it's too political

Hanukkah 'too political'

Calgary's mayor says she won't attend the annual menorah lighting ceremony to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek posted a statement last night on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, that today's ceremony at Calgary City Hall has become too political.

She says she had planned to bring traditional greetings to Calgary's Jewish community, but it has been repositioned as an event to support Israel.

Gondek says the changed nature of the event creates a divide and forces people to choose sides.

The Calgary Jewish Federation says in an email to its community members that it's disappointed Gondek won't attend and adds that the community's support will not waver in its support for Israel.

This week marks the second month of a brutal conflict that has killed thousands of civilians, including the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants and Israel's swift and sustained retaliatory war in the Gaza Strip.

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