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Calgary mayor won't attend annual menorah lighting ceremony to avoid appearing pro-Israel



Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek won't be attending Thursday's annual menorah lighting, a ceremony that marks the beginning of Hanukkah.

In a statement released Wednesday, Gondek said she originally accepted the invitation to speak at the event weeks ago and was looking forward to it, but says it has since "been repositioned as an event to support Israel."

"This last minute change goes against the original intention and has left me feeling let down by leadership," she wrote in a letter posted on social media.

"I am saddened that this change makes it impossible for me to attend (Thursday's) event. And I am incredibly concerned that people wishing to celebrate Hanukkah will have their good intentions compromised."