23 Dec Nazareth – The City Where Jesus Grew, Cancels 2017 Christmas Celebrations
Christmas events have been cancelled at Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up. The Muslim Mayor of the town announced this, claiming U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision had taken away the joy of the holiday since he chose to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Trump’s decision has taken away the joy of the holiday and we will cancel the festivities this year,” said Ali Salam, the town’s mayor. “Our identity and faith cannot be bargained,” he said , according to a Fox News translation of 10 News.
Although Nazareth is known for holding large Christmas celebrations which are a big tourist attraction, this year’s Christmas market and festival will not take place as Muslim groups continue to protest the Trump’s decision.
Reuters reports that Nazareth isn’t the only town to protest the move; 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.
“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said. “This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement,” he added.
While the announcement sparked protests in Palestinian territories as well as across the Arab world, it was applauded by Israeli rabbis and American evangelical leaders, who earlier this week presented him with a “Friends of Zion” award at the White House.