Nazareth cancels Christmas celebrations in support of Jerusalem

Geneva Matthews
December 17, 2017

The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel.

On Wednesday, a city spokesman said there would be some cuts to the celebrations to protest against President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem that angered Palestinians as well as US allies in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

At a little over 30 per cent of the population, Christians are a significant minority - but are dominated by the Muslim majority which voted Salam into power.

"Reports that Christmas events were canceled this year are incorrect", said Ali Salam who is mayor of the town in northern Israel.

Salam's statement came as the start of the Christmas festivities was set to begin in Nazareth later Saturday with the lighting of the tree.

Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, has canceled some Christmas celebrations in protest at U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, an official said.

The giant Basilica of the Annunciation is built on the place where many believe Jesus' mother Mary's house stood and where the angel visited her and told her she would bear the Messiah.

Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, was a significant United States policy change.

"Our identity and faith can not be bargained", Salam, a Muslim, said, according to 10 News.

While not banning the holiday outright, Mayor Ali Salam said that numerous events will be canceled because the president took the "joy" out of the holiday with his political move, Newsweek reported.

City spokesman Salem Sharara said: "We have chose to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the recognition as a "historic day" that is an "important step toward peace".

Nevertheless, the local administration has already walked back his aggressive position somewhat, conceding "there are commercial interests of the city and we are used to hundreds of thousands [of Christians] coming for this season".

The Palestinian leadership, Fatah and Hamas, claims the Jewish people have falsified their 3,000 year-old history to lay claim to Jerusalem. Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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