Saturday, 28 December 2013
The decision to reject a Knesset member’s request to have a Christmas tree put up at the entrance to the parliament building was because of negative connotations the holiday symbol has for Jews, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said Thursday.

On Sunday, Edelstein announced that he had turned down a request from Hadash MK Hanna Swaid, an Arab Christian from the Galilee town of Eilaboun, to place a Christmas tree on prominent display, saying it was inappropriate.

On Thursday, Edelstein told Israel Radio the tree would dredge up bitter memories for Jews, and suggested there were other ways to send a seasonal greeting to Christians in Israel.

He also denounced Arab MKs for constantly testing the limits of the Jewish state. Edelstein said that if he had agreed to put up the tree, the next day there would have been a request to display a cross and a crescent alongside the symbolic menorah in the Knesset.

Swaid had asked that the tree be placed in a visible part of the Knesset, saying it would be “a gesture toward Christian members of Knesset and citizens of Israel, and a symbol of [Israel’s] ties to the Christian world generally.”

On Sunday, Edelstein’s office announced he had declined Swaid’s request.

“In response to your request that the Knesset erect at the House’s entrance a Christmas tree in honor of Christmas and the civil New Year, I respectfully reply that nothing prevents you from placing a tree in your office, or for your Knesset faction to place one in the faction room, but I do not believe it appropriate to order the erection of a Christmas tree as you requested,” Edelstein wrote.

Later that day, Swaid lamented that Edelstein’s response “didn’t even explain the decision,” and suggested the speaker had “faced pressure” from right-wing Jewish groups.

“I heard a Jewish Home MK say the Christmas tree symbolizes Christian persecution of Jews throughout all time. I think that’s foolishness, it’s crazy,” Swaid said.

“I’m very disappointed at this response,” Swaid told The Times of Israel Sunday. “I don’t need to ask permission to place a Christmas tree in my private room. The expectation was that the speaker would respond to the core of my request, to highlight the pluralism and multiculturalism of the Knesset as an institution that represents all parts of the population.”

Last week, Swaid noted that the Knesset sometimes recognizes non-Jewish religious events and symbols, including hosting an annual iftar meal, a ceremonial feast following the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

“How can a Christmas tree do harm to the State of Israel? I think this would have been a net gain,” he said.
Source: TimesofIsrael

I've previously noted the ritual of Muslim violence, in which jihad acts, including casual "street jihad", appear to be timed deliberately to "ruin" days that are sacred or special to non-Muslims. A few articles on the Occidental Observer site suggested that Jews were trying to do something similar with Christmas, "tainting" it by de-Christianising it or associating it with something unpleasant. "Bad Santa"-style Hollywood films were cited as evidence of this. (See here, here and here.) I have to admit I was a bit sceptical of this. But I did find it strange that the Daily Mail ran this Holocaust survivor recollection story on Boxing Day. After all, why then? The story doesn't seem to be associated with any current event.

There was also an example a few years ago in which Christmas trees had to be withdrawn from an airport after a rabbi threatened to sue.

So, what do you think? Is there a pattern of anti-Christian activity among Oriental peoples, and not just the ones who worship Allah?


Anonymous said...

I'm sure we can all agree that its good that there is a country where inhabitants can have as much anxiety about Christmas trees as their Xanax prescription will allow, while making it clear that this neurosis is not conducive to functioning well in countries founded on Christianity. However, the article linked to was misrepresented, the Rabbi was just trying to get a menorah next to the Christmas tree, which is a very inclusive thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Florida, USA - I wish the mohammedans were just complaining about Christmas trees instead of cutting peoples heads off and kicking them around like soccer balls, throwing acid in women's faces, and raping children.

Anonymous said...

In the US, they speak of the "war on Christmas" as if this were a development of the "left" over the past few decades but a quick search at the Jewish Virtual Library indicates that this goes back at least to the early part of the 20th century following a very large influx of East European Jews, principally of "militantly Socialist Jews". In December 1905, in a district of New York City, Jewish leaders and parents organised a boycott of the school system when a school principal in his address to his students encouraged them to "have the feeling of Christ in you, have more of pleasure in giving than in taking". This message was regarded as discriminatory against the Jewish students and, after issuing a request to the school authorities to discipline the principal and to ban all future Christmas observances in the NY public schools (this was turned down by the NYC Board of Education), they organised a walkout of Jewish students on December 24 (as the schools were breaking for Christmas holiday). They demanded that such 'sectarian' (i.e. Christian) views had no place in the public school system. In December 23, 1906, they called for another Jewish boycott of public schools on 24 December and referred to their efforts as "a battle for civil rights". Around 25,000 Jewish schoolchildren did not attend school that day and the Jewish press headlined it as "Empty Schools: Tens of Thousands of Jewish Children shun the Christmas Tree". This boycott succeeded in that, two weeks later, the NYC Elementary School Committee issued a recommendation that schools ban the singing of hymns (Christmas carols?) and the assignment of 'sectarian themes' during the period leading to Christmas and instead concentrate on a 'folklore' representation of Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Florida, USA -
President George Washington remembered the Jewish contribution [in the Revolutionary War] when he wrote to the Sephardic congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, in a letter dated August 17, 1790: "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in the land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants. While everyone shall sit safely under his own vine and fig-tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

Anonymous said...

The Jews dislike Christmas because it is a holy day for Christians who they hate. Judaism is based on the Talmud which condemns Jesus Christ and everything he stood for

Roni said...

@Anonymous 29 December 2013, 12.55
When I read the stuff Americans are posting as a comment, I am shivering. Not because of the contents of what they are writing. Their ignorance and dumb arguments are frightening. It is hard to believe how USA can lead the world with so many stupid inhabitants? It seems that every single Scandinavian or Dutch has more intelligence in his ass than an average American in his head. Sorry. Now to the point. It is right that many Jews in Israel dislike Christmas. Most Jews who came to the country are Eastern European Jews who have centuries of horror experience behind them. In Eastern European countries Christmas and Easter meant a pogrom, rape and lot of bloodshed. Jews who came from friendly Scandinavian countries (the best countries on our planet in every way) and the Netherlands love Christmas, St. Lucia and St. Nicolaas. They didn't have to fear no one and could enjoy as kids the holidays at their non Jewish neighbours homes. The Shithead of an Arab who had put a request for a Christmas tree before the Knesset had done it on order to provoke. At the time Mr. Hanna Swaid from Eilaboun tries to have fun in provocations, his fellow folks are threatened or slaughtered by his Muslim ‘brothers’ in the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and all over the Muslim world. He could have a decent ‘No’ from other Knesset members, leave the place in peace and live like a free man. His fellow folks at the West Bank and Gaza do not enjoy the freedom he has in Israel. They are living day and night under the threat of Hamas or other Islamic organization who are awaiting the right moment to slit Christian throats. I respect the NO of Edelstein and the others as for they show balls and do not bend. Israel has a majority of Jews and minorities of Arab Christians and Muslims. If Mr. Swaid is asking now for a Christmas tree, why should a Mr. Abdullah not ask the whole Israeli Knesset to take part in the Ramadan? Christmas trees stand nice in lobbies of Hotels or before a hotel building in order to honour the Christian tourists. This is more than enough.



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