Grinch in Chief: Nazareth Cancels Christmas Over Trump's Jerusalem Gambit

Grinch in Chief: Nazareth Cancels Christmas Over Trump's Jerusalem Gambit

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth - the town where Jesus grew up - has announced he is cancelling Christmas events over U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Our identity and faith can not be bargained", Salam, a Muslim, said, according to 10 News. 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. Yet the president has managed to dampen the Christmas spirit on the other side of the world with his offensive, widely panned decision on Jerusalem.

Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of the Arab Christian city of Nazareth, released a statement announcing that Trump's decision on Jerusalem last week required him to show solidarity with the Palestinian Authority.

Trump argued that he is recognizing historical reality with his announcement that the U.S.is to begin a process of moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Nazareth is believed to be Jesus Christ's childhood home, though he was born in Bethlehem.

Mayor Ali termed Trump "wretched" and said the U.S. president had "stabbed" Palestinians with the Jerusalem decision. Thus the city is one of the main focal points of Christmas in Israel.

More news: Former Bears star Hester retires from NFL

Within an hour of the announcement, the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace, and Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank briefly switched off their Christmas lights in protest.

Jerusalem is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims and is a contentious part of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.

Even though Israel has fully controlled the city since 1967, and moved most of its government institutions there, no country has moved its embassy from Tel-Aviv or has accepted to call Jerusalem Israel's capital. Palestinians maintain that Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state.

In response, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has declared East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

"President Trump has made a bold and courageous stand that will be remembered in history forever, like President Harry Truman, who made a bold and courageous decision to recognize Israel at statehood", Hagee said.

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