Christmas, Jesus’ birth, will not be celebrated this year in Nazareth, Jesus childhood home, because of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has caused a backlash in the region, particularly among Muslims, and the reaction has reverberated to Nazareth. Nazareth, the northern Israeli town which is home to a population made up mostly of Muslims and Christians, is scrapping all holiday plans, including a Christmas market and festival.
The town’s mayor, Ali Salam, who is a Muslim, announced on Thursday that all planned Christmas events would be canceled.
Salam said: “Our identity and faith cannot be bargained. [Trump’s] decision has taken away the joy of the holiday and we will cancel the festivities this year.”
Nazareth is believed to be Jesus Christ’s childhood home, though he was born in Bethlehem. As such, the annual Christmas events in Nazareth are a huge tourist attraction during the Christmas season.
Trump’s announcement last week reversed decades of U.S. policy and made America the only country to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The city is also claimed by the Palestinian population, and Jerusalem is home to some of the most sacred sites in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Trump has also ordered the U.S. embassy moved from Tel Aviv.