Nazareth mayor Ali Salam. (Flash90) Flash90

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth has expressed his outrage over the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by cancelling Christmas “artistic performances” in the Christian holy site.

While it was originally reported on Thursday that Nazareth mayor Ali Salam would protest the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by cancelling Christmas celebrations, this policy was later clarified to explain that only “artistic performances on stages” would be eliminated.

Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of the Arab Christian city of Nazareth, released a statement announcing that Trump’s decision on Jerusalem last week required him to show solidarity with the Palestinian Authority. “This is the natural reaction to a decision that impacts our nation and Jerusalem,” Salam announced in a press conference in Nazareth, reported TPS.

“We are part of one single people,” he continued, declaring that the US’ decision on Jerusalem had taken “all the joy” from the holiday period.

Nazareth, which Christians consider to be Jesus’ childhood home, is a major tourist destination and pilgrimage site. During the holiday season, the city hosts a Christmas market among a number of other celebrations that attract large crowds from around the world.

Among the critics of Salam’s response was Brotherly Covenant, an organization that supports Arab-Israeli identity and Arab service in the IDF. Brotherly covenant referred to Salam’s announcement as a “cynical move to take advantage of Christian residents,” TPS reported.

Cancelling Christmas festivities would not only cause economic harm, it could also set back interfaith relations and efforts to promote religious co-existence, warned Brotherly Covenant.

This article was originally published in World Israel News.

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