Speaker bans Christmas tree display at Israeli parliament

2013-12-23 16:33

The office of the speaker of Israel’s parliament says he has rejected a Christian lawmaker’s request to publically display a Christmas tree in the building.

Eran Sidis, a spokesperson for Yuli Edelstein, said today the speaker rejected yesterday’s request, but said the parliamentarian could display a Christmas tree in his office and his party’s conference room.

Sidis denied the rejection was connected to Israel’s Jewish character.

He said displaying the tree until Orthodox Christmas, January 7, would be too long.

Hanna Swaid, a Christian opposition lawmaker from Israel’s Arab minority, said a Christmas tree would promote multiculturalism and freedom of religion.

There have been previous bans on public Christmas tree displays. The mayor of a Jewish town bordering Nazareth has previously refused them, though some Christians live there.

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