The 72-Hour War Over Christmas


Rabbi Victor Urecki had welcomed the parade name change as good for Charleston, home to about 250 Jewish families. Still, as a minority here and in other communities where he has lived, the rabbi had long ago learned, he said, that “there are certain things you grow to understand that’s the way they are, certain things you’re not going to push too hard on.”

“I texted her and told her I’m with you whatever decision you want to make,” he said.

The mayor phoned him back to tell him she was considering retreat. By 10 a.m. on Oct. 10, the third morning after the announcement, Mr. Kercheval’s radio show had become the theater of war.

Mr. Jones, the ex-mayor, phoned in to demand Ms. Goodwin reverse her decision. Two hours later, Ms. Goodwin herself called in with an announcement.

“It has been an amazing process, an enlightening process the last two days,” she began. “I will say the type of vitriol, the kind of vitriol that has come forth since we announced this suggested change has actually been really hurtful and disappointing. But let me say this: I respect everyone’s individual freedoms to bring that to my doorstep.”

The Winter Parade was no more, she announced. The Christmas Parade was back on.

“Everybody is going to be happy again,” Mr. Kercheval told her.

And for the most part, it seemed like everyone was. People wrote supportive comments on the mayor’s Facebook page, thanking her for changing her mind. “I appreciate a politician that listens. Well done!” one comment said. Mr. Jones praised her for the reversal. So did the attorney general. Muslim community leaders said they appreciated the mayor’s efforts, regardless.

“We and our Jewish brothers and sisters as well, we will continue to support it. We respect the right to celebrate Christmas as they see it should be. We as Muslims continue to cherish Jesus as a prophet,” said Ms. Barazi, from the Islamic association.





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