Nazareth Cuts Back Christmas Celebration Over Trump's Call On Jerusalem

Dec 17, 2017, 01:10
Nazareth Cuts Back Christmas Celebration Over Trump's Call On Jerusalem

There have been widespread protests across the world in condemnation of Trump's decision with only Israel and the United States supporting his plan. It's one of the Holy Land's most important sites for Christmas festivities, each year, drawing tens of thousands of visitors.

Nazareth's Muslim Mayor Ali Salam told Reuters on Saturday that Christmas celebrations will continue as planned, though three singers who were supposed to perform will not appear.

Mayor Ali Salam pointed to Trump's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital - which sparked violent protests and a call from Hamas for an uprising against Israel - as the reason for canceling all holiday plans.

"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", city spokesman Salem Sharara said, Reuters reported.

Nazareth, a Muslim-majority city in Israel, stages a Christmas celebration each year with performances, a holiday market, tree lighting and parade.

Nazareth - the hometown of Jesus - has cancelled Christmas.

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The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem where Jesus is traditionally believed to be born and Ramallah in the illegally occupied West Bank briefly turned off their Christmas lights in protest as well.

Salam, who is Muslim, said people of all faiths were welcome to visit the city. The status of Jerusalem is at the center of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians because the city is sacred to Judaism and Islam.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital a milestone.

Approximately 69 percent of the Arab town's 76,000 inhabitants are Muslims and 30 percent are Christians. ISIS threatened war on USA soil in response to the decision, and a group of Muslim leaders in 57 countries denounced Trump's move. "This shows the world that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not up for negotiation, and America is and shall always remain a loyal ally of Israel".

His decision sparked widespread violence in Israel 24 hours later in a "day of rage" over the move.

"President Trump has made a bold and courageous stand that will be remembered in history forever, like President Harry Truman, who made a bold and courageous decision to recognize Israel at statehood", Hagee said.