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