Nazareth Celebrations Will Be Held as Normal – Mayor

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Israeli Arabs perform nativity scene in Nazareth
Israeli Arabs perform a nativity scene for tourists in the northern town of Nazareth December 22, 2008. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/
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JERUSALEM (Reuters)

Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, will celebrate Christmas as usual, its mayor said, denying the festivities would be curtailed in protest at the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

On Wednesday, a city spokesman said there would be some cuts to the celebrations to protest against President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem that angered Palestinians as well as U.S. allies in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

 

Boys wearing Santa Claus costumes are carried during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Nazareth
Boys wearing Santa Claus costumes are carried during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the northern town of Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ boyhood, December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/

 

Mayor Ali Salam told Reuters on Saturday that three singers who had been due to perform would not appear. He gave no reason for their absence, but said that the celebrations would proceed as normal.

“I don’t know why people thought that there would be cuts to the celebrations. Everything, except for three singers who will not be coming, will be held as normal. We have already welcomed 60,000 people to the city today,” Salam said.

 

 

Nazareth, the largest Arab town in Israel with a population of 76,000 Muslims and Christians, is one of the Holy Land’s focal points of Christmas festivities which begin officially on Saturday evening.

Nazareth’s imposing Basilica of the Annunciation is built on a site that many Christian faithful believe was the childhood home of Jesus’ mother, Mary.

 

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)