CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 April 2019

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Nazareth cancels Christmas

Nazareth (SE): The mayor of Nazareth, Ali Salam, announced on December 14 that all Christmas celebrations in the hometown of Jesus Christ have been cancelled in response to the announcement by the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, that he intends to move his embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively recognising it as the capital city of the land.
 
Fox News reported that just like the original Christmas, Jesus’ birth will not be celebrated in the town where he grew up during his formative years, but this time not because of the isolation of Joseph and Mary at the hand of the far off Roman emperor, but the aggression of a president of the far off US.
 
Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has, like the decision of the king, Herod, to liquidate all baby boys under the age of two, left the whole of Jerusalem troubled.
 
The backlash in the region, particularly among Muslims, has been violent at times and the reaction has reverberated as far as Nazareth.
 
“Our identity and faith cannot be bargained,” Salam was quoted by 10 News as saying. “His decision has taken away the joy of the holiday and we will cancel the festivities this year.”
 
Nazareth is a small northern Israeli town which is home to a mixed Christian-Muslim population, but this year is scrapping all plans for the Christian festive season, including the famous Christmas market and festival.
 
The annual festival is a huge tourist attraction during the Christmas season.
 
Trump’s announcement has reversed decades of US policy and makes it the only country to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
 
The city is also claimed by the Palestinian population and is home to several sacred sites for Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
 
The announcement triggered violent protests, with Hamas calling for an uprising against Israel. Two people have been killed in clashes with soldiers and others injured.

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