Tree Threat Against Jewish City
NAZARETH ILLIT, Israel (AFP) – The mayor of a Jewish suburb of Nazareth sparked outrage on Wednesday after refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative.
Predominantly Jewish Nazareth Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is adjacent to Nazareth, where Jesus is said to have spent much of his life. It has a sizable Arab Christian minority, as does mostly Muslim Nazareth itself.
"The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative," Mayor Shimon Gapso told AFP.
"Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen -- not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor," he said of the northern Israeli town.
"Nazareth is right next door and they can do what they want there," he said.