Nazareth, the town in current-day Israel where Jesus Christ is said to have been raised, canceled all Christmas celebrations this year, saying that President Donald Trump had taken the joy out of the holiday.
This shocking announcement delivered Thursday by Nazareth Mayor, Ali Salam came following Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move the Muslim Mayor found offensive.
“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate,” Salam said, according to Times of Israel. “The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”
Mayor Ali termed Trump “wretched” and said the US president had “stabbed” Palestinians with the Jerusalem decision.
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. According to the New Testament, Jesus also grew up in the town.
Today, however, around two-thirds of the population in Nazareth is Muslim, according to sources. Newsweek reported that the cancellation will impact the local economy “severely,” as tens of thousands of people usually travel to the town during the Christmas season for the festivities.
Mr Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, as UG Christian News reported, was a significant policy which triggered both applause and protests across the world.
The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, and condemned by the vast majority of the international community.
Jerusalem is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims and is a contentious part of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
Following the 1967 Middle East war, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, according to express.co.uk, but the claim is not recognised by the international community or Palestinians. Palestinians maintain that Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state.
The Palestinians’ chief representative to Britain, Manuel Hassassian during a press with media blasted the American leader’s decision to move the US embassy.
He told the BBC: “He [Trump] is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims (and) hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel.”
Additional reporting by Agencies.