This is an important time of the year for both Jewish and Christians communities as Hanukkah and Christmas approach. Shamefully, anti-Israel haters have decided to target Christmas tree lighting events and other public events surrounding Christmas festivities and have even succeeded in shutting down a Hanukkah event in the heart of London.

Christmas is a time of celebration for billions of people around the world. The festive season is one celebrated by people from all walks of life. While it isn’t seen as an exclusively Christian holiday in the West, the same cannot be said of Christmas in the Middle East where Christmas is only celebrated by Christians. Additionally, anti-Christian attacks increase around Christmas as Christians become more visible to their communities with the lighting of Christmas trees and other festivities.

In Christian circles, there is some debate whether Christians should celebrate Christmas at all. However, most Christians do indeed celebrate this season and do so with the recognition of Christ’s birth.

An organiser of an anti-Israel demonstration declared, “Christmas is cancelled until Palestine is free.”

For the record, Christmas is not cancelled. We will continue to celebrate the birth of Christ regardless of who is against us. These Israel haters have no right to attempt to shut down the celebrations of others. It goes against our religious freedoms and governments should be doing everything to protect these events.

Also, ‘Palestine’ will not be free until the Palestinians let go of their hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people and turn away from their violence. Ultimately, they’ll find peace when they embrace Jesus, the “reason for the season” and why we celebrate Christmas. And just a reminder, Jesus was a Jew from Judea who understood the Biblical covenant between God and the Jewish people which gave the Jewish people the land of Israel as an eternal inheritance.

There is a lot to unpack from the anti-Christmas protests. Is it a sign that they hate the West and our traditions? Is this an attack against Christianity? There is also a claim that “Jesus was a Palestinian,” which is a heretical and false claim that is an insult to the Christianity. If they are claiming it, though, why don’t they embrace it fully? Why not claim Christmas as Palestinian and join us in singing carols instead of trying to ruin the fun for everyone else?

The reason is they don’t care. Many pro-Palestinian activists are just as anti-West as they are anti-Israel, and they’re just as anti-Christian as they are anti-Jew. It is fair to say that with these attacks on Christmas celebrations we are witnessing attacks on Christianity by pro-Palestinian activists.

In the small town of Ypsilanti, near Detroit, Michigan, Palestinian protesters turned up to disrupt the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. As revellers counted down to the lights turning on, chants of “From the River to the Sea,” a call to wipe out the Jewish people from their homeland, were being chanted along with the beat of drums from anti-Israel protesters.

The families gathered likely had no idea why they were being targeted by a hate mob of anti-Israel activists. The answer to the question was answered by one of the organisers. In a separate video a member of the public asks the organiser, “Why did you come today for the Christmas tree lighting?”

The anti-Israel speaker answers, “Because Christmas is cancelled until Palestine is free.”

Wow. They want to cancel Christmas until Palestine is free. News flash, Christmas isn’t cancelled. We will celebrate the birth of Christ regardless of who is against us. And yes, these attacks are more than simply a protest against public events, there is a spiritual connotation to all of this. Far-left activists understand that Christians are the largest supporter group of Israel and that is why they want to disrupt Christmas.

Just image if the roles were reversed. The Muslim community in the West is the most supportive of the Palestinians. What if pro-Israel activists targeted Ramadan events and said, “Ramadan is cancelled until Hamas is disbanded.” There would be outrage, news coverage and solidarity marches with Muslims and widescale arrests of anyone who tried to disrupt such events. Rightly so. Protesting Muslim religious events in the West because of the actions of Hamas is not acceptable. Likewise, disrupting Christmas and Hanukkah events because of the Israel-Hamas war is also not acceptable.

The main Christmas tree lighting event in New York was also disrupted by anti-Israel protesters who clashed with police and disrupted the lighting countdown.

After the event, they gathered around the tree and chanted, “burn it down”. They also chanted their genocidal calls to wipe out Israel from the map.

In the UK, Hanukkah has successfully been disrupted because a council is worried Jews celebrating a religious festival in London will stoke tensions in the community. A shameful display of cowardice by cancelling the victims rather than dealing with those who seek them harm.

The UK government and local councils have long declared they are doing all they can to fight against the rise in antisemitism here in the UK. Cancelling Hanukkah is not standing up against antisemitism.

In a statement, Havering council said, “Sadly, there are some who are politicising this and making accusations of antisemitism. This is categorically untrue and such statements are likely to incite further unrest in our communities.”

Regardless of whether antisemitism is behind the council’s decision, the truth is that antisemitism is the reason the event was cancelled – the antisemitism of those who would disrupt festivities or vandalise the Hanukkah menorah.

No other festivities are being cancelled by the council. Christmas events are still going ahead, for example, highlighting how it is only Jews the council is failing to protect. They’ve given the impression that the UK’s capital city is not a welcoming place for the Jewish community. They have failed the people they are supposed to protect.

Anti-Israel activists have been emboldened in recent weeks in New York and London and other major capital cities where they can draw big crowds together. The government needs to crackdown against this hatred. When pro-Israel protests take place, they are peaceful. When pro-Palestinian protests take place, they are filled with intimidation and the spreading of hate, and in some cases violence.

There is a difference between the two sides just as there is a difference between Israel and the terrorists of Hamas. It is a fight of good vs evil, right vs wrong.

Terrorising the festivities of Christians and Jews is not the actions of peace loving people. It highlights the hatred of anti-Israel activism. Shame on all those who partake in this disruptive behaviour and the councils and governments who enable them. They must do more to counter this hatred.