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Grinch in Chief: Nazareth Cancels Christmas Over Trump's Jerusalem Gambit

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Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem January 2014

Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up after being born in Bethlehem, has canceled its official Christmas celebrations this year because of U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year".

Nazareth, a Muslim-majority city in Israel, stages a Christmas celebration each year with performances, a holiday market, tree lighting and parade. The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel.

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.

The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem - the biblical birthplace of Jesus - and Ramallah briefly turned off their Christmas lights within an hour of the Nazareth announcement, Reuters said, adding that there's no word if Bethlehem also is considering scaling back its celebrations.

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Approximately 69 percent of the Arab town's 76,000 inhabitants are Muslims and 30 percent are Christians. ISIS threatened war on us soil in response to the decision, and a group of Muslim leaders in 57 countries denounced Trump's move.

Following the 1967 Middle East war, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, according to express.co.uk, but the claim is not recognised by the global community or Palestinians.

When Trump announced the decision he reiterated his commitment to peace in the Middle East, noting the previous policy of not recognizing "the reality" that Jerusalem is Israel's capital brought us "no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians". But the claim is not recognised by the global community or Palestinians. "This shows the world that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not up for negotiation, and America is and shall always remain a loyal ally of Israel".

"There are major moments in the history of Zionism: the Balfour Declaration, the founding of the state, the liberation of Jerusalem and Trump's announcement yesterday", he said in a video posted to social media.

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