April 21, 2018

Nazareth cancels some Christmas festivities over Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

17 December 2017, 01:13 | Simon Arnold

Nazareth cancels some Christmas festivities over Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Israeli-Arab children attend a Christmas parade outside the Church of the Annunciation in the northern Arab Israeli city of Nazareth the place where Christians believe the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus

Trump argued that he is recognizing historical reality with his announcement that the to begin a process of moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Christmas events in the city, which is a center of Christian pilgrimage, normally provide a big boost to its economy.

Initial reports following the mayor's press conference said the Christmas Market in Nazareth was cancelled.

The mayor of Nazareth said Saturday that Christmas celebrations would go ahead in Jesus' hometown, only days after announcing holiday festivities would be canceled in protest of the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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

"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital", Mr Trump said in a speech in the White House last week. Christmas Eve is much celebrated in Nazareth, the town of the Galilee where Jesus is believed to have grown up, despite of predominantly Muslim town, Christmas celebration is strongly participated. The status of Jerusalem is at the center of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians because the city is sacred to Judaism and Islam.

But this year the mayor determined that the situation in the region is too fraught for joy because of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Trump's decision "opens the gates of hell".

Protests have rocked the Middle East and Muslim countries in Asia, and several people have died as a result.

Many Israeli leaders support Trump's decision, claiming that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel.

The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel. "... I saw that it is appropriate to cancel all the celebrations organized by the municipality of Nazareth, An inseparable part of this steadfast people, who are tormented by the wretched Trump in the holiness of his holiness". Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

The procession and lighting of the tree are still scheduled, according to the mayor.

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.

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