Nazareth cancels Christmas celebrations over Trump’s Israel decision

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From Malta Independent

US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has caused a backlash in the region, particularly among Muslims, and the reaction’s reverberated to Nazareth, where the town’s mayor, Ali Salam, announced Thursday that all planned Christmas events would be canceled.

 “Our identity and faith cannot be bargained,” Salam, a Muslim, said, according to 10 News. “[Trump’s] decision has taken away the joy of the holiday and we will cancel the festivities this year.”

However The Jerusalem Post reports that Ali Salam has considered, or reconsidered the shekels involved

“Our message is we love Jerusalem, we’ll never abandon you under any circumstances,” he said at a press conference in which he announced that singing performances on outdoor stages that are normally part of Nazareth’s Christmas Market would be canceled. But he also noted that “there are commercial interests of the city and we are used to hundreds of thousands coming for this season.”

After the press conference, it was erroneously reported that Salam had canceled the Christmas Market. But, according to the Al-Arab website, the municipality issued a statement denying this. It said that “the cancellation only applies to artistic performances on stages,” and that outdoor stalls would remain, the lighting of the Christmas tree will take place Sunday as scheduled, programs in the Old City will proceed, and a parade will be held on December 23.

Christmas season in Nazareth is the season of good and blessing and we are completely vigilant that commercial interests won’t be damaged,” the statement said.

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