Recently a report claimed that the mayor of Nazareth-Illit had refused to allow Christmas Trees in town squares. Not only has this turned out be a pure fabrication, but the truth is, in fact, exactly the opposite.
According to Act for Israel’s sources, Shimon Gafsou, the mayor of Nazareth-Illit (Upper Nazareth), wishes to clarify that he instructed the municipality’s maintenance workers earlier this week to decorate parts of the city with Christmas decorations. On a visit to Arab-Christian residents of the city, the mayor extended Christmas greetings and handed out chocolate Santa Clauses to preschool children. Contrary to provocative claims, at no stage was the municipality presented with a request for additional decorations to be placed in the city and, as such, no request was denied.
Israel and the city of Nazareth welcome and encourage the full display of religious expression among all faiths and uphold the democratic principle of freedom of religion.
As has been his tradition every Christmas Eve, Mayor Gafsou met with the leaders of the city’s Christian community. “We join in the festivities of the Christian residents of Nazareth- Illit and wish them a Merry Christmas,” the mayor said after meeting with the leaders.
The AFP needs to check its sources better, and everyone should be more vigilant about the ongoing efforts to delegitimize and demonize Israel. The facts just don’t support the lies Israel haters are spreading.
Articles of Interest
- Peres wishes Christian world ‘profound’ Christmas greetings (haaretz.com)
- 90,000 tourists expected for Christmas (israel21c.org)