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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. Discount colace online The hill in the background is the site of today's Upper Nazareth. Nazareth, discount colace online Jesus’s hometown, discount colace online is today a bustling city of over 70, discount colace online000 people. Discount colace online The people of Nazareth are termed “Arab citizens of Israel” or “1948 Palestinians, discount colace online” depending on one’s politics. Discount colace online About a third of Nazarenes are Christians, discount colace online the rest are Muslim. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, discount colace online lies Upper Nazareth (Hebrew: “Nazareth Illit”). Discount colace online This community was founded by Israel in 1957, discount colace online a Jewish town situated so as to overlook the country’s largest solidly Arab community. Discount colace online However, discount colace online realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Discount colace online Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Discount colace online Today, discount colace online about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, discount colace online mostly Christians. These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) places by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Discount colace online Now, discount colace online with the coming of Christmas, discount colace online they approached the mayor, discount colace online Shimon Gapso, discount colace online and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Discount colace online Gafso, discount colace online reports Israeli news site NRG (owned by Maariv), discount colace online refused staunchly. Discount colace online “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish, discount colace online” said Gapso, discount colace online “As long as I hold office, discount colace online no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.” Arab members of the city council, discount colace online representing a moderate public that chose to come and live in a heavily Jewish suburb, discount colace online insisted. Discount colace online They mentioned the Hanukkiyahs erected in American cities that aren’t designated Jewish. Discount colace online Gapso ignored their pleas. Discount colace online “Let them go down to Lower Nazareth, discount colace online” he said this week. Discount colace online To his support came the city’s chief rabbi, discount colace online Isaiah Herzl, discount colace online who said that erecting Christmas tree is unthinkable since it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” Unlike the reporter at NRG, discount colace online the author here at +972 Magazine has liberty to comment and analyse. Discount colace online It is almost scary to attempt this, discount colace online since such a story would read so differently to different readers. Discount colace online Being a Jew, discount colace online I know exactly how threatening Christmas is to us, discount colace online being the most tempting symbol of non-Jewish life (I wouldn’t even say Christian life, discount colace online since the roots of the holiday are pagan, discount colace online it is celebrated by non-Christians and has been greatly stripped of its Christian content over the past century). Discount colace online We have all been brought up with the notion that holding on to Judaism requires resisting such symbols. In the heart, discount colace online that is. By declaring Upper Nazareth Christmas resistant, discount colace online Mayor Gapso exposes the great insecurity and confusion of the Jewish state. Discount colace online 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, discount colace online then Upper Nazareth is in fact a self imposed ghetto, discount colace online walled by fear and intolerance and so, discount colace online by extension, discount colace online is the entire state of Israel. Having lived within these walls for so long, discount colace online 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. Discount colace online He is the mayor who stole Christmas, discount colace online the mayor of an ethnocentric town with a name that hints at superiority, discount colace online who rejects a symbol of universal tolerance. Make no mistake, discount colace online mayors always think forward to the next election. Discount colace online Mr. Discount colace online Gapso, discount colace online who in the past made efforts to draw Jewish families into his town and reduce the percentage of Arabs in it, discount colace online predicts that his act will draw support from the community. Discount colace online In that he does not differ from the Jewish mayors of other mixed towns, discount colace online such as Akko’s Shimon Lankry, discount colace online who take an intolerant position whenever that is an option, discount colace online gaining power from the animosities within their communities. In the spirit of the holidays, discount colace online let us conclude this not with them but with a fond mention of a different city. Discount colace online The city of Haifa, discount colace online under Mayor Yona Yahav, discount colace online placed a huge Christmas tree right at the boundary of the its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, discount colace online (in fact, discount colace online a bit further into the Jewish area), discount colace online proving that sharing the festive season is possible even in this troubled land. Discount colace online Original article can be found here: http://972mag.com/how-the-mayor-of-a-nazareth-suburb-stole-christmas-2/