Jesus's hometown cancels Christmas over … Trump?

Frederick Owens
December 16, 2017

Trump announced last week that he recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing reversing decades of US policy and jeopardising Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth - the town where Jesus grew up - has announced he is cancelling Christmas events over U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mayor of the Israeli city of Nazareth, Ali Salam [Angela Almeida Prado‎/Facebook] Known as "the Arab capital of Israel", Nazareth is made up mostly of Muslims and Christians Arabs.

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate", Salam said during a press conference. Salam also called Trump "wretched" and said he had stabbed Palestinians in the back. It said that outdoor stalls would be open and the Christmas tree lighting and parade would take place.

However, the decision by the city's mayor could backfire on Nazareth as it usually plays host to many tourists at this time of year.

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The Brotherly Covenant, an NGO devoted to incorporating Christians into Israeli society, released a statement condemning the move and stated that cancelling Christmas in Nazareth would hinder chances at co-existence.

Nazareth is one of the holiest cities in Christendom because it was there that the angel Gabriel is believed by Christians to have told the Virgin Mary she would conceive and bear Jesus.

But he also noted that "there are commercial interests of the city and we are used to hundreds of thousands coming for this season". Two protesters have been killed in clashes with soldiers.

Since Trump's declaration on December 6, terrorists have launched 12 rockets from the Gaza Strip - eight fell in Israel and four others were intercepted, the IDF said on Friday.

Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

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