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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. Find deltasone cod The hill in the background is the site of today's Upper Nazareth. Nazareth, find deltasone cod Jesus’s hometown, find deltasone cod is today a bustling city of over 70, find deltasone cod000 people. Find deltasone cod The people of Nazareth are termed “Arab citizens of Israel” or “1948 Palestinians, find deltasone cod” depending on one’s politics. Find deltasone cod About a third of Nazarenes are Christians, find deltasone cod the rest are Muslim. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, find deltasone cod lies Upper Nazareth (Hebrew: “Nazareth Illit”). Find deltasone cod This community was founded by Israel in 1957, find deltasone cod a Jewish town situated so as to overlook the country’s largest solidly Arab community. Find deltasone cod However, find deltasone cod realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Find deltasone cod Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Find deltasone cod Today, find deltasone cod about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, find deltasone cod mostly Christians. These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) places by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Find deltasone cod Now, find deltasone cod with the coming of Christmas, find deltasone cod they approached the mayor, find deltasone cod Shimon Gapso, find deltasone cod and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Find deltasone cod Gafso, find deltasone cod reports Israeli news site NRG (owned by Maariv), find deltasone cod refused staunchly. Find deltasone cod “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish, find deltasone cod” said Gapso, find deltasone cod “As long as I hold office, find deltasone cod no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.” Arab members of the city council, find deltasone cod representing a moderate public that chose to come and live in a heavily Jewish suburb, find deltasone cod insisted. Find deltasone cod They mentioned the Hanukkiyahs erected in American cities that aren’t designated Jewish. Find deltasone cod Gapso ignored their pleas. Find deltasone cod “Let them go down to Lower Nazareth, find deltasone cod” he said this week. Find deltasone cod To his support came the city’s chief rabbi, find deltasone cod Isaiah Herzl, find deltasone cod who said that erecting Christmas tree is unthinkable since it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” Unlike the reporter at NRG, find deltasone cod the author here at +972 Magazine has liberty to comment and analyse. Find deltasone cod It is almost scary to attempt this, find deltasone cod since such a story would read so differently to different readers. Find deltasone cod Being a Jew, find deltasone cod I know exactly how threatening Christmas is to us, find deltasone cod being the most tempting symbol of non-Jewish life (I wouldn’t even say Christian life, find deltasone cod since the roots of the holiday are pagan, find deltasone cod it is celebrated by non-Christians and has been greatly stripped of its Christian content over the past century). Find deltasone cod We have all been brought up with the notion that holding on to Judaism requires resisting such symbols. In the heart, find deltasone cod that is. By declaring Upper Nazareth Christmas resistant, find deltasone cod Mayor Gapso exposes the great insecurity and confusion of the Jewish state. Find deltasone 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, find deltasone cod then Upper Nazareth is in fact a self imposed ghetto, find deltasone cod walled by fear and intolerance and so, find deltasone cod by extension, find deltasone cod is the entire state of Israel. Having lived within these walls for so long, find deltasone 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. Find deltasone cod He is the mayor who stole Christmas, find deltasone cod the mayor of an ethnocentric town with a name that hints at superiority, find deltasone cod who rejects a symbol of universal tolerance. Make no mistake, find deltasone cod mayors always think forward to the next election. Find deltasone cod Mr. Find deltasone cod Gapso, find deltasone cod who in the past made efforts to draw Jewish families into his town and reduce the percentage of Arabs in it, find deltasone cod predicts that his act will draw support from the community. Find deltasone cod In that he does not differ from the Jewish mayors of other mixed towns, find deltasone cod such as Akko’s Shimon Lankry, find deltasone cod who take an intolerant position whenever that is an option, find deltasone cod gaining power from the animosities within their communities. In the spirit of the holidays, find deltasone cod let us conclude this not with them but with a fond mention of a different city. Find deltasone cod The city of Haifa, find deltasone cod under Mayor Yona Yahav, find deltasone cod placed a huge Christmas tree right at the boundary of the its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, find deltasone cod (in fact, find deltasone cod a bit further into the Jewish area), find deltasone cod proving that sharing the festive season is possible even in this troubled land. Find deltasone cod Original article can be found here: http://972mag.com/how-the-mayor-of-a-nazareth-suburb-stole-christmas-2/