Nazareth mayor cancels Christmas celebration over Trump's Jerusalem decision

Nazareth mayor cancels Christmas celebration over Trump's Jerusalem decision
© Camille Fine

The mayor of the Israeli town of Nazareth said President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE has taken the "joy" out of Christmas with his decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mayor Ali Salam says the town has canceled the events it had planned for the holiday, such as a Christmas market, The New York Daily News reported.

“Our identity and faith cannot be bargained. The decision has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will cancel the festivities this year,” Salam reportedly said.

Nazareth is made up of mostly Muslims and Christians and located in northern Israel. Christmas events in the city, which is a center of Christian pilgrimage, normally provide a big boost to its economy.


The decision to cancel the events comes after Trump earlier this month recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and announced plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy there.

Trump, who has vowed to broker a historic peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, declared he will try to resolve one of history's oldest conflicts his way, arguing past approaches, such as delaying the recognition, haven't worked.

Arab and European leaders warned ahead of the announcement that formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would push the talks further off track.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the recognition as a “historic day” that is an “important step toward peace.”

But the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Trump’s decision “opens the gates of hell.” It has called for several days of protests in the Holy Land.

The U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned of potentially violent demonstration and urged American personnel to keep their children home from school. 

Local Palestinian and Christian leaders have said they will refuse to meet with Vice President Pence during his trip to Israel scheduled for next week.