Biden’s Nantucket Christmas Tree Lighting Interrupted by ‘Free Palestine’ Protests
President Biden and Family Attend Christmas Tree Lighting
President Joe Biden and his family attended the Nantucket Christmas tree lighting on Friday evening.
The president, first lady Jill Biden, their children Hunter and Ashley, and their grandchildren gathered alongside the tree in Nantucket’s town square as the town crier led the countdown to get the tree illuminated.
Protesters Chant ‘Free Palestine’
After the tree was lit, 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.
They also chanted, “Biden, Biden you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide.”
Protesters Drowned Out by Crowd
A man went up to the microphone to remind the protesters that this was a community tree lighting and said that while he respected their right to the First Amendment, he encouraged them to stop.
The protesters resisted, but their message was drowned out by the crowd’s cheering and loud Christmas music playing.
Protests Scheduled for Small Business Saturday
Another pro-Palestine protest is scheduled for tomorrow, when the Biden family usually returns to the downtown shopping area for mark Small Business Saturday.
Biden Criticized for Support of Israel
President 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.
He again said Friday that he asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be mindful of civilian casualties.
Biden and Family Continue Nantucket Outing
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 Family Shops and Dines in Nantucket
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.
Biden Family Gathers for Festivities
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.
Biden Family Enjoys Nantucket Trip
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.
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.