Christmas trees welcome pilgrims to Jerusalem, irking some Orthodox Jews
December 24, 2012
City officials in Jerusalem have ordered display of a Christmas tree at Jaffa Gate, the most conspicuous entrance to the historic Old City, as a gesture to welcome Christian pilgrims arriving for Christmas celebrations.
The presence of the Christian symbol has provoked some opposition from Orthodox Jews, but Israeli President Shimon Peres has issued a statement welcoming Christian visitors and expressing support for Israel's Christian minority.
Another Christmas tree has been placed by city officials in East Jerusalem--the section of the city claimed as Palestinian territory, and traditionally the home to most of the city's Christians--on the road leading out to Bethlehem.