Purim In Canada

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

Nazareth's "Mary's Spring" in 1894. Purim in canada The hill in the background is the site of today's Upper Nazareth. Nazareth, purim in canada Jesus’s hometown, purim in canada is today a bustling city of over 70, purim in canada000 people. Purim in canada The people of Nazareth are termed “Arab citizens of Israel” or “1948 Palestinians, purim in canada” depending on one’s politics. Purim in canada About a third of Nazarenes are Christians, purim in canada the rest are Muslim. On the hill rising above the dense town and its imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, purim in canada lies Upper Nazareth (Hebrew: “Nazareth Illit”). Purim in canada This community was founded by Israel in 1957, purim in canada a Jewish town situated so as to overlook the country’s largest solidly Arab community. Purim in canada However, purim in canada realities in the Galilee transcend nationalist aspirations. Purim in canada Families from Nazareth proper have been moving over the years to the airier hilltop suburb. Purim in canada Today, purim in canada about 15 percent of Upper Nazareth residents are Arabs, purim in canada mostly Christians. These Arabs have witnessed the enormous Hanukkiyahs (menorahs) places by the city over the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Purim in canada Now, purim in canada with the coming of Christmas, purim in canada they approached the mayor, purim in canada Shimon Gapso, purim in canada and requested that a Christmas tree be placed as well. Purim in canada Gafso, purim in canada reports Israeli news site NRG (owned by Maariv), purim in canada refused staunchly. Purim in canada “Upper Nazareth is a Jewish town and all its symbols are Jewish, purim in canada” said Gapso, purim in canada “As long as I hold office, purim in canada no non-Jewish symbol will be presented in the city.” Arab members of the city council, purim in canada representing a moderate public that chose to come and live in a heavily Jewish suburb, purim in canada insisted. Purim in canada They mentioned the Hanukkiyahs erected in American cities that aren’t designated Jewish. Purim in canada Gapso ignored their pleas. Purim in canada “Let them go down to Lower Nazareth, purim in canada” he said this week. Purim in canada To his support came the city’s chief rabbi, purim in canada Isaiah Herzl, purim in canada who said that erecting Christmas tree is unthinkable since it would be “offensive to Jewish eyes.” Unlike the reporter at NRG, purim in canada the author here at +972 Magazine has liberty to comment and analyse. Purim in canada It is almost scary to attempt this, purim in canada since such a story would read so differently to different readers. Purim in canada Being a Jew, purim in canada I know exactly how threatening Christmas is to us, purim in canada being the most tempting symbol of non-Jewish life (I wouldn’t even say Christian life, purim in canada since the roots of the holiday are pagan, purim in canada it is celebrated by non-Christians and has been greatly stripped of its Christian content over the past century). Purim in canada We have all been brought up with the notion that holding on to Judaism requires resisting such symbols. In the heart, purim in canada that is. By declaring Upper Nazareth Christmas resistant, purim in canada Mayor Gapso exposes the great insecurity and confusion of the Jewish state. Purim in canada 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, purim in canada then Upper Nazareth is in fact a self imposed ghetto, purim in canada walled by fear and intolerance and so, purim in canada by extension, purim in canada is the entire state of Israel. Having lived within these walls for so long, purim in canada 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. Purim in canada He is the mayor who stole Christmas, purim in canada the mayor of an ethnocentric town with a name that hints at superiority, purim in canada who rejects a symbol of universal tolerance. Make no mistake, purim in canada mayors always think forward to the next election. Purim in canada Mr. Purim in canada Gapso, purim in canada who in the past made efforts to draw Jewish families into his town and reduce the percentage of Arabs in it, purim in canada predicts that his act will draw support from the community. Purim in canada In that he does not differ from the Jewish mayors of other mixed towns, purim in canada such as Akko’s Shimon Lankry, purim in canada who take an intolerant position whenever that is an option, purim in canada gaining power from the animosities within their communities. In the spirit of the holidays, purim in canada let us conclude this not with them but with a fond mention of a different city. Purim in canada The city of Haifa, purim in canada under Mayor Yona Yahav, purim in canada placed a huge Christmas tree right at the boundary of the its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, purim in canada (in fact, purim in canada a bit further into the Jewish area), purim in canada proving that sharing the festive season is possible even in this troubled land. Purim in canada Original article can be found here: http://972mag.com/how-the-mayor-of-a-nazareth-suburb-stole-christmas-2/