New Yorkers know Christmas is not far away once the lights are switched on a huge Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Center in the heart of Manhattan. The 25 metre tall Norwegian spruce is adorned with about 50,000 lights, connected by eight kilometres of wire and topped by a large 3D Swarovski star covered in 30 million crystals.
This year New York Mayor Eric Adams helped flip the switch that illuminates the tree while the Young People’s Chorus sang Joy to the World, but the 90-year-old tradition was marred by an ugly protest that tried to kill that joy.
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors behind nearby barricades clashed with police and chanted “river to the sea” – a genocidal, anti-Semitic slogan — throughout the Christmas Tree Lighting Event, demanding an “end to genocide” in Gaza while simultaneously calling for genocide against Israelis.
CBN News reports most attendees were able to enjoy the lighting ceremony, but many, especially those with families, were upset by the demonstration’s anti-Semitic banners of hatred towards Jews, the display of Nazi symbols and the constant use of profanities.
“It’s super, super annoying. Just excruciating. Seeing these people in such large numbers, it makes me feel embarrassed to be an American because people are watching this happening from abroad.” Opal Burnett of St. Louis, Missouri told the New York Post.
“Politics has no place at an event like this, but that’s exactly why they do it — to disrupt the status quo, to ruin the things we cherish and take comfort in. The Christmas tree brings a message of peace, not conflict. That’s why we’re gathered here today, not to protest but to welcome in the holiday season,” said New Yorker Lillian Gonzalez.
A New York Post editorial wrote: “One real takeaway from the pro-Hamas protests at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting: These people are seriously messed-up. All the usual apparatus of affluent left-wing protests was there — genocidal chants like “From the river to the sea,” an open call for the destruction of the Jewish state and even a giant swastika, supposedly to compare Israel’s heroic armed forces to the Nazis who tried to exterminate the Jewish people.”
“This is what passes for political discourse: The violent, public embrace of utterly bankrupt convictions and ideas. Disrupting the Rockefeller tree lighting — one of the most anticipated and widely enjoyed rituals of New York civic life — has nothing to do with Israel’s justified counter-attack against Hamas.”
Photo: Rockefeller Center