Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas in Nazareth Illit

One Israeli town has some issues with religious freedom:
"The mayor of a Jewish suburb of Nazareth sparked outrage on Wednesday after refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative...

"'The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative,' Mayor Shimon Gapso told AFP.

"'Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen -- not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,'" he said of the northern Israeli town...

"His decision angered the town's Arab and Christian minority, who accused him of racism.

"'The racism of not putting a tree up is nothing compared to the real racism that we experience here,' said Aziz Dahdal, a 35-year-old Christian resident of Nazareth Illit."

Christianity is a hot-button issue for some in Israel due to the history of Christian persecution and forced conversion of Jews. Nazareth Illit is in the heart of the "Arab Triangle" in northern Israel, and was founded as a sort of shadow community to Nazareth by those interested in demographically Judaizing as much of the land as possible.

Nir Rosen wonders how this will play in conservative circles.

UPDATE: A commenter notes that this story is actually from December 2010. I'm not sure why it was making the rounds yesterday, but I don't know the current status.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is actually a year old, from Dec 2010. You might check what happened, perhaps the mayor backed down or was replaced? Don't know, but repeating old nes, without at date, can be dangerous.

5:26 AM  

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