Israel’s war on Christmas –Updated

Israel/Palestine
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Nir Rosen ponders the implications (h/t Max Fisher)

From Ma’an News, 2010:

The mayor of a Jewish suburb of Nazareth sparked outrage on Wednesday after refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative.

Predominantly Jewish Nazareth Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is adjacent to Nazareth, where Christians believe Jesus spent much of his life. It has a sizable Arab Christian minority, as does mostly Muslim Nazareth itself.

“The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative,” Mayor Shimon Gapso told AFP.

“Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen — not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” he said of the northern Israeli town.

“Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there,” he said.

His decision angered the town’s Arab and Christian minority, who accused him of racism.

“The racism of not putting a tree up is nothing compared to the real racism that we experience here,” said Aziz Dahdal, a 35-year-old Christian resident of Nazareth Illit.

“When we asked the mayor to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighbourhoods of Nazareth Illit he said this is a Jewish town, not a mixed town,” said Shukri Awawdeh, a Muslim Arab member of the town council.

Awawdeh said there were 10,000 Arabs, most of them Christian in the town and there was also a large community of Christian Russian immigrants.
 

Update:

Turns out the Ma’an News item is a year old, which we failed to state originally. Apologies! The story has lately been recirculated on the net, which is how we grabbed it.

And: have you ever seen a more jolly Christmas greeting? Benjamin Netanyahu uses the holiday to thank Christians for their support of Israel and to make a tourism pitch:

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