Donald Trump has just shut down Christmas in the one place it means the most!
The mayor said that the situation in the region is too fraught for joy because of Trump's decision.
Jesus Christ's hometown, Nazareth - where Christians believe Christ was raised - has canceled all Christmas celebrations this year. The Muslim-populated town has said that President Donald Trump has taken the joy out of their festivities.
Nazareth's Mayor Ali Salam announced the decision to cancel the holiday celebrations on Thursday and said that the move was in protest of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The mayor said that he found the US President's move offensive.
Salam, while attending a press briefing on Thursday, said: "Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate. The decision [by Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”
The cancellation of the Christmas celebrations will reportedly cost the town as year-end annual festivities draw tens of thousands of pilgrims, who attend Christmas market, parades and music concerts in Nazareth.
The mayor said that the situation in the region is too fraught for joy because of Trump's decision. Salam also called the US President "wretched" and added that he had stabbed the Palestinians in the back.
Despite the city's contested status, Trump, during his presidential campaign last year, had supported Israel and said that he would recognize Jerusalem as the country's official capital.
Israel in the 1967 war had captured the Arab east Jerusalem and annexed it later. However, the annexation is not recognized by the international community. The country declared the entire city as its unified capital, but Palestine says that east Jerusalem is the capital of their future state. Israel is building settlements in Jerusalem despite the United Nations' warning.
Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week drew criticism from Muslims across the world, and also from many of the key US allies. Trump's announcement, for many in the Arab world, put an end to any possibilities of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine over Jerusalem' status.
Days after Trump's announcement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an umbrella group of 57 Muslim countries, met on Wednesday in Istanbul and issued a communiqué denouncing the US President's move.
Although many leaders in Israel have welcomed Trump's announcement, claiming that Jerusalem is Israel's undivided capital, the Nazareth’s mayor, however, has demonstrated that not everyone in the country supports the decision.
The Brotherly Covenant, an organization devoted to incorporating Christians into Israeli society, were opposed to the mayor's decision, and said that canceling festivities in the town "harms Christians in Israel and in the world on their holy day.”
Nazareth is considered one of the holiest cities for Christians as it is the place where angel Gabriel allegedly told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. Christ is believed to have grown up in the town. However, nearly two-thirds of the population in Nazareth is Muslim.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org