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

Dec 17, 2017, 01:11
Nazareth cancels some Christmas festivities over Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate", said Salam on Thursday.

"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.

The cancelation will cost the historic town severely as the annual festivities-including a Christmas market, a parade, and multiple concerts-draw tens of thousands of pilgrims. Yet the president has managed to dampen the Christmas spirit on the other side of the world with his offensive, widely panned decision on Jerusalem.

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. Nazareth is believed to be Jesus Christ's childhood home, though he was born in Bethlehem.

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"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital", Mr Trump said in a speech in the White House last week.

Nazareth is traditionally thought to be where Jesus grew up.

Within an hour of the announcement, the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace, and Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank briefly switched off their Christmas lights in protest.

The town announced it will cut back on its Christmas festivities, claiming Donald Trump has leached all the joy out of the holiday after his Jerusalem decision.

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Jerusalem holds significance for three major world religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Almost 70 percent are Muslim and about 30 percent are Christian. The move has also upset the country's Arab allies, especially when Trump said the United Sates Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as well.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.

Following the 1967 Middle East war, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital. Half of Jerusalem has been envisioned as the future capital of a Palestinian state, if a two-state solution is reached between Israel and Palestine.

"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.

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