The Muslim mayor of Nazareth has cancelled traditional outdoor songs and plays celebrating Christmas in the city where Jesus spent his childhood.
Mayor Ali Salam, who once made the curious boast that U.S. President Donald Trump “learned everything from me” about how to win elections, indicated that he was punishing local and visiting Christians as revenge for the President’s decision to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Our message is we love Jerusalem, we’ll never abandon you under any circumstances,” Salam declared.
“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate … The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”
While Nazareth is located within Israel proper rather than Palestinian Authority territory in Gaza and the West Bank, a majority of its inhabitants are Arabs with Israeli citizenship.
At a little over 30 per cent of the population, Christians are a significant minority — but are dominated by the Muslim majority which voted Salam into power.