The Nantucket Christmas tree lighting that President Joe Biden was attending Friday evening with his family was interrupted by ‘Free Palestine’ protesters.
The president, first lady Jill Biden and their children and grandchildren were gathered alongside the tree in Nantucket’s town square as the town crier led the countdown to get the tree illuminated.
But after that went off without a hitch – after technical difficulties last year – fewer than 10 protesters at the front of the crowd unveiled ‘free Palestine’ and ‘end apartheid’ signs, directly in the president’s line of sight.
‘Biden, Biden you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide,’ they chanted.
A man went up to the microphone to remind them ‘this is a community tree lighting’ and said that while he ‘respected their right to the First Amendment’ he encouraged them to stop.
They resisted, but their message was drowned out by the crowd’s cheering and loud Christmas music playing.
The children’s choir rushed over to the president in the interim.
The demonstrators were all Nantucket natives or currently live on the island.
‘Nantucket Island has long been considered an exclusive vacation getaway for rich tourists. However, the protests on Friday night indicate that island residents are pushing back on their island and community being used as a safe haven for politicians and wealthy elites,’ said a press release about the protest.
Another pro-Palestine protest is scheduled for tomorrow, when the Biden family usually returns to the downtown shopping area for mark Small Business Saturday.
The Christmas tree lighting was the Biden family’s last stop off the day after taking over downtown Nantucket for several hours.
The president’s traditional Black Friday jaunt was delayed due to the first release of hostages from Gaza in the aftermath of Hamas’ brutal October 7 terror attack on Israel.
Biden has become a target of criticism over his steadfast support of Israel, whose military has killed tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians in their effort to root out Hamas fighters responsible for the October 7 attack.
‘I have encouraged the prime minister to focus on trying to reduce the number of casualties while he is attempting to eliminate Hamas, which is a legitimate objective he has. That’s a difficult task and I don’t know how long it will take,’ Biden said.
My expectation and hope is that as we move forward, the rest of the Arab world and the region is also putting pressure on all sides to slow this down, to bring this to an end as quickly as we can,’ he added.
He and Dr. Biden then left the room together to join the larger Biden clan.
The Bidens had a very late lunch at the historic whaling bar Brotherhood of Thieves and then popped into Nantucket Bookworks, stops that are part of their family Thanksgiving trip tradition.
Biden used Nantucket’s waterfront White Elephant hotel to deliver remarks and take questions from reporters, before walking uptown for food, shopping and the island’s Christmas kick-off.
Son Hunter and his wife Melissa Cohen were out on the streets with baby Beau, along with Hunter’s children from his first marriage – Maisy, Finnegan and Naomi.
Naomi’s husband of one year, Peter Neal, was also along for the trip.
First daughter Ashley Biden, sporting a festive kelly green coat, walked side by side with her mother.
Her husband Howard Krein attended the Christmas tree lighting, where Ashley put on a festive holly and reindeer eared headband.
Hunter and Melissa held hands while the first son carried a Brotherhood of Thieves hoodie with him as they walked down the Nantucket streets.
The children of the late Beau Biden, Hunter and Natalie, also joined the family on their outing.
‘We’re having a great time, thank you,’ Dr. Biden told reporters after stepping out of the bookstore.
The president acknowledged he was doing some Christmas shopping.
‘Yes. Can’t come without going to the bookstore. We’ve got a tradition,’ he said.
Biden walked out of the bookstore carrying the tome Democracy Awakening by Heather Cox Richardson he then popped into Craftmasters of Nantucket, a store Hunter was spotted in Wednesday purchasing a pair of slippers.
Onlookers shouted ‘Happy Birthday’ at the president, who turned 81 on Monday.
He and the family officially celebrated the occasion Wednesday at their 13,000 square foot waterfront compound, owned by friend David Rubenstein, a billionaire philanthropist.
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JUST IN: The White House says President Biden brokered the hostage release deal with Hamas. So, why weren't any American hostages released? What about the American toddler held captive? Why did Biden leave our fellow countrymen behind?
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) November 24, 2023
How do I know Joe Biden is weak?
NO AMERICANS were released today.
If it were Trump, they would’ve had thanksgiving with their families.
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) November 24, 2023
Biden left his press conference — in which he announced he had no idea when American citizens held hostage in Gaza would be released — and immediately went shopping.
Absolutely disgraceful. pic.twitter.com/R86j20u2I8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 24, 2023
Joe Biden claims Hamas-terrorists attacked Israel because he was on the verge of bringing PEACE to the Middle East.
DO YOU BELIEVE HIM?pic.twitter.com/pJfr1ZiggO
— Proud Elephant ???????????? (@ProudElephantUS) November 24, 2023