Israel’s war on Christmas rages on

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Issa Kassissieh, dressed as Santa Claus, carries a Christmas tree outside the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem Dec. 23, 2008.(Photo: Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

In what has become a yearly holiday tradition, Israeli politicians are attempting to quash official attempts to recognize Christmas. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said it would be inappropriate to place a Christmas tree on prominent display in the Knesset following a request from a Christian lawmaker.

Edelstein suggested in a statement released Sunday that Hanna Swaid of the Israeli-Arab Hadash party, who is Christian, place a Christmas tree in his office or in the party’s faction room.

“I do not believe it appropriate to order the erection of a Christmas tree as you requested,” Edelstein wrote.

Swaid on Sunday told Israeli media that he was disappointed in Edelstein’s response.

“The public space does not only belong to the Jewish majority. It should show other groups,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

This isn’t a new issue in Israel. See this post for a similar story from 2009 about the fight over Christmas displays in Jerusalem, and this 2010 story about how Nazareth Illit mayor Shimon Gapso banned Christmas trees in town centers calling them a “provocation.” Last year Jonathan Cook reported on how the rabbinate was threatening to withhold kashrut certification to hotels with Christmas decorations, in essence putting them out of business. O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, You fill my heart with existential dread.

Meanwhile, Israel has denied entry permits to five Arab tourism ministers who hoped to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem. From Ma’an News:

Israel refused to issue entry permits to five ministers who were expected to start arriving on Monday in order to attend Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, PA Minister of Tourism Rula Maaya told Ma’an.

Among other events, Maaya said they were scheduled to attend the Christmas Eve midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.

What exactly is Israel scared of?

The war on Christmas gets real! (Apologies for the blue language and distinct lack of holiday spirit)
The war on Christmas gets real! (Apologies for the blue language and distinct lack of holiday spirit)
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/“The public space does not only belong to the Jewish majority. It should show other groups,” he told The Jerusalem Post./ The public space in Christian neighbourhoods and cities is full of Christmas symbology and that is perfectly fine. The public space in official state establishments like the Knesset has to balance between the definition of the state as a Jewish state with Jewish values and the rights of minorities in the state. Given the… Read more »

There’s also a racial question here: Most of those discriminated against are Arabs. Would Israel have denied entry to white Christians? Never, of course. And not putting a Christmas tree when there is no competing Jewish holiday is racist, just like Congress or the WH refusing to celebrate Jewish holidays even when there are no competing holidays at that time(or even when there are, like Passover). I’m sure some would say “well there are so… Read more »

The annual and tedious Foxnews “War on Christmas” is nonsense enough, this “reporting” is just plain ridiculous.

Ironic that Israel wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the patronage of their Christian United States ally [78% in 2012]. Kind of insulting to the patron, yet no news media addresses this in a significant way. Is this part of a white-guilt campaign – don’t criticize other religions? But at some point, it’s inevitable when that ‘religious’ group is a severe burden to national interests. Even if Israel provided some great benefits to their US… Read more »

This X-mas ordeal is a small problem compared to their tattered image of an apartheid state. These chauvinist boobs cant recognize that the time to make peace while looking good is setting sail.

The world is changing and the Jewish state is looking more bizarre than ever. And only the Jews know what’s good for them! Stuck in the collective mud because they can’t understand simple logic. (Where’s Mooser to properly frame this dilemma?)