Nazareth Cancels Christmas in Protest of Trump's Jerusalem Move
January 22 2018, 12:29 | Irvin Gilbert
Christmas celebrations canceled in Jesus' biblical hometown in protest of Trump's Jerusalem decision
"I don't know why people thought that there would be cuts to the celebrations", Salam told Reuters on Saturday.
"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", added city spokesperson Salem Sharara.
Christmas parade in Nazareth. Still, Nazareth is an important point on the Christian Christmas pilgrimage.
Nazareth is noted in the Bible as the town where Jesus Christ grew up in, and in modern times holds large Christmas celebrations which are a big tourist attraction.
"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate", Salam said Thursday. "The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year".
Salam did not specify why some singers had canceled their performances, but instead made it sound like the celebrations, which are a major source of income for the town, would continue as normal. "I$3 invite all the residents of the State of Israel - the Jews, Muslims and Christians - to come to the city of Nazareth and take part in the Christmas celebrations", he said.
When Trump announced the decision he reiterated his commitment to peace in the Middle East, noting the previous policy of not recognizing "the reality" that Jerusalem is Israel's capital brought us "no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians".
Trump's decision reversed decades of USA policy as a mediator and has jeopardized its peace efforts in the Middle East.
The announcement to move the US embassy to Jerusalem was, meanwhile, hailed by other groups, including 250 prominent Israeli rabbis who issued Trump the biblical blessing that God gave to Joshua.
Nazareth's mayor is certainly no fan of Trump's, either. 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.
Nazareth as 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.
The procession and lighting of the tree are still scheduled, according to the mayor.