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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. Order no rx mevacor The hill in the background is the site of today's Upper Nazareth. Nazareth, order no rx mevacor Jesus’s hometown, order no rx mevacor is today a bustling city of over 70, order no rx mevacor000 people. Order no rx mevacor The people of Nazareth are termed “Arab citizens of Israel” or “1948 Palestinians, order no rx mevacor” depending on one’s politics. Order no rx mevacor About a third of Nazarenes are Christians, order no rx mevacor the rest are Muslim. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, order no rx mevacor lies Upper Nazareth (Hebrew: “Nazareth Illit”). Order no rx mevacor This community was founded by Israel in 1957, order no rx mevacor a Jewish town situated so as to overlook the country’s largest solidly Arab community. Order no rx mevacor However, order no rx mevacor realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Order no rx mevacor Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Order no rx mevacor Today, order no rx mevacor about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, order no rx mevacor mostly Christians. These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) places by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Order no rx mevacor Now, order no rx mevacor with the coming of Christmas, order no rx mevacor they approached the mayor, order no rx mevacor Shimon Gapso, order no rx mevacor and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Order no rx mevacor Gafso, order no rx mevacor reports Israeli news site NRG (owned by Maariv), order no rx mevacor refused staunchly. Order no rx mevacor “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish, order no rx mevacor” said Gapso, order no rx mevacor “As long as I hold office, order no rx mevacor no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.” Arab members of the city council, order no rx mevacor representing a moderate public that chose to come and live in a heavily Jewish suburb, order no rx mevacor insisted. Order no rx mevacor They mentioned the Hanukkiyahs erected in American cities that aren’t designated Jewish. Order no rx mevacor Gapso ignored their pleas. Order no rx mevacor “Let them go down to Lower Nazareth, order no rx mevacor” he said this week. Order no rx mevacor To his support came the city’s chief rabbi, order no rx mevacor Isaiah Herzl, order no rx mevacor who said that erecting Christmas tree is unthinkable since it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” Unlike the reporter at NRG, order no rx mevacor the author here at +972 Magazine has liberty to comment and analyse. Order no rx mevacor It is almost scary to attempt this, order no rx mevacor since such a story would read so differently to different readers. Order no rx mevacor Being a Jew, order no rx mevacor I know exactly how threatening Christmas is to us, order no rx mevacor being the most tempting symbol of non-Jewish life (I wouldn’t even say Christian life, order no rx mevacor since the roots of the holiday are pagan, order no rx mevacor it is celebrated by non-Christians and has been greatly stripped of its Christian content over the past century). Order no rx mevacor We have all been brought up with the notion that holding on to Judaism requires resisting such symbols. In the heart, order no rx mevacor that is. By declaring Upper Nazareth Christmas resistant, order no rx mevacor Mayor Gapso exposes the great insecurity and confusion of the Jewish state. Order no rx mevacor 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, order no rx mevacor then Upper Nazareth is in fact a self imposed ghetto, order no rx mevacor walled by fear and intolerance and so, order no rx mevacor by extension, order no rx mevacor is the entire state of Israel. Having lived within these walls for so long, order no rx mevacor 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. Order no rx mevacor He is the mayor who stole Christmas, order no rx mevacor the mayor of an ethnocentric town with a name that hints at superiority, order no rx mevacor who rejects a symbol of universal tolerance. Make no mistake, order no rx mevacor mayors always think forward to the next election. Order no rx mevacor Mr. Order no rx mevacor Gapso, order no rx mevacor who in the past made efforts to draw Jewish families into his town and reduce the percentage of Arabs in it, order no rx mevacor predicts that his act will draw support from the community. Order no rx mevacor In that he does not differ from the Jewish mayors of other mixed towns, order no rx mevacor such as Akko’s Shimon Lankry, order no rx mevacor who take an intolerant position whenever that is an option, order no rx mevacor gaining power from the animosities within their communities. In the spirit of the holidays, order no rx mevacor let us conclude this not with them but with a fond mention of a different city. Order no rx mevacor The city of Haifa, order no rx mevacor under Mayor Yona Yahav, order no rx mevacor placed a huge Christmas tree right at the boundary of the its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, order no rx mevacor (in fact, order no rx mevacor a bit further into the Jewish area), order no rx mevacor proving that sharing the festive season is possible even in this troubled land. Order no rx mevacor Original article can be found here: http://972mag.com/how-the-mayor-of-a-nazareth-suburb-stole-christmas-2/