Nazareth, the mostly Muslim town in current-day Israel where Christians believe Jesus Christ was raised, canceled all Christmas celebrations this year, saying that President Donald Trump had taken the joy out of the holiday.
The decision by Mayor Ali Salam to cancel festivities was made in protest of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move the Muslim mayor, who once compared himself to Trump, found offensive.
“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate,” Salam said during a press conference Thursday. “The decision [by Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year.”
The cancelation will cost the historic town severely as the annual festivities—including a Christmas market, a parade, and multiple concerts—draw tens of thousands of pilgrims.
But this year the mayor determined that the situation in region is too fraught for joy because of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Salam also called Trump “wretched” and said he had stabbed Palestinians in the back.