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Mayor of Nazareth suburb bans Christmas Trees  or how the mayor of a Nazareth suburb stole Christmas....***

Nazareth's "Mary's Spring" in 1894. Buy etodolac cod The hill in the background is the site of today's Upper Nazareth. Nazareth, buy etodolac cod Jesus’s hometown, buy etodolac cod is today a bustling city of over 70, buy etodolac cod000 people. Buy etodolac cod The people of Nazareth are termed “Arab citizens of Israel” or “1948 Palestinians, buy etodolac cod” depending on one’s politics. Buy etodolac cod About a third of Nazarenes are Christians, buy etodolac cod the rest are Muslim. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, buy etodolac cod lies Upper Nazareth (Hebrew: “Nazareth Illit”). Buy etodolac cod This community was founded by Israel in 1957, buy etodolac cod a Jewish town situated so as to overlook the country’s largest solidly Arab community. Buy etodolac cod However, buy etodolac cod realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Buy etodolac cod Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Buy etodolac cod Today, buy etodolac cod about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, buy etodolac cod mostly Christians. These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) places by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Buy etodolac cod Now, buy etodolac cod with the coming of Christmas, buy etodolac cod they approached the mayor, buy etodolac cod Shimon Gapso, buy etodolac cod and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Buy etodolac cod Gafso, buy etodolac cod reports Israeli news site NRG (owned by Maariv), buy etodolac cod refused staunchly. Buy etodolac cod “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish, buy etodolac cod” said Gapso, buy etodolac cod “As long as I hold office, buy etodolac cod no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.” Arab members of the city council, buy etodolac cod representing a moderate public that chose to come and live in a heavily Jewish suburb, buy etodolac cod insisted. Buy etodolac cod They mentioned the Hanukkiyahs erected in American cities that aren’t designated Jewish. Buy etodolac cod Gapso ignored their pleas. Buy etodolac cod “Let them go down to Lower Nazareth, buy etodolac cod” he said this week. Buy etodolac cod To his support came the city’s chief rabbi, buy etodolac cod Isaiah Herzl, buy etodolac cod who said that erecting Christmas tree is unthinkable since it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” Unlike the reporter at NRG, buy etodolac cod the author here at +972 Magazine has liberty to comment and analyse. Buy etodolac cod It is almost scary to attempt this, buy etodolac cod since such a story would read so differently to different readers. Buy etodolac cod Being a Jew, buy etodolac cod I know exactly how threatening Christmas is to us, buy etodolac cod being the most tempting symbol of non-Jewish life (I wouldn’t even say Christian life, buy etodolac cod since the roots of the holiday are pagan, buy etodolac cod it is celebrated by non-Christians and has been greatly stripped of its Christian content over the past century). Buy etodolac cod We have all been brought up with the notion that holding on to Judaism requires resisting such symbols. In the heart, buy etodolac cod that is. By declaring Upper Nazareth Christmas resistant, buy etodolac cod Mayor Gapso exposes the great insecurity and confusion of the Jewish state. Buy etodolac cod If the only way to maintain the Jewish character of his town is by showing complete lack of tolerance and resisting integration of its non-Jewish residents, buy etodolac cod then Upper Nazareth is in fact a self imposed ghetto, buy etodolac cod walled by fear and intolerance and so, buy etodolac cod by extension, buy etodolac cod is the entire state of Israel. Having lived within these walls for so long, buy etodolac cod Mayor Gapso has absolutely no clue what non-Jews around the world would feel when hearing that the mayor of a Nazareth suburb bans Christmas trees. Buy etodolac cod He is the mayor who stole Christmas, buy etodolac cod the mayor of an ethnocentric town with a name that hints at superiority, buy etodolac cod who rejects a symbol of universal tolerance. Make no mistake, buy etodolac cod mayors always think forward to the next election. Buy etodolac cod Mr. Buy etodolac cod Gapso, buy etodolac cod who in the past made efforts to draw Jewish families into his town and reduce the percentage of Arabs in it, buy etodolac cod predicts that his act will draw support from the community. Buy etodolac cod In that he does not differ from the Jewish mayors of other mixed towns, buy etodolac cod such as Akko’s Shimon Lankry, buy etodolac cod who take an intolerant position whenever that is an option, buy etodolac cod gaining power from the animosities within their communities. In the spirit of the holidays, buy etodolac cod let us conclude this not with them but with a fond mention of a different city. Buy etodolac cod The city of Haifa, buy etodolac cod under Mayor Yona Yahav, buy etodolac cod placed a huge Christmas tree right at the boundary of the its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, buy etodolac cod (in fact, buy etodolac cod a bit further into the Jewish area), buy etodolac cod proving that sharing the festive season is possible even in this troubled land. Buy etodolac cod Original article can be found here: