To mark the beginning of the holiday season, Al-Quds University has unveiled a “nationalist Christmas tree” — resembling a traditional Christmas tree, but decorated with pictures of Palestinians killed by Israel.
The fir features dozens of photos of “martyrs,” including Mohammed ِِِِِِAbu Khdeir, a teen burned to death by Jewish extremists in 2014, as well as prominent Palestinian terrorists killed carrying out attacks against Israelis over the past few months. One of these, whose picture appears hanging multiple times on the tree, is Fadi Aloon who was shot and killed by police in early October when stabbing an Israeli teen outside Jerusalem’s Old City.
The tree was revealed during a special event on Palestinian unity held last week at Al-Quds’ Abu Dis campus, attended by university president Imad Abu Kishk, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Bethlehem mufti Sheikh Abdel Majid Amarana, and university faculty members.
“We are united by Jesus who taught us love, tolerance, and how to turn the other cheek,” Abu Kishk said in a speech given at the event.
“Christmas is not only a holiday for Palestinian Christians, but is for all Palestinians. The Palestinian people is united, whether Muslim or Christian,” he added.
Al-Quds University is a Palestinian university with its main campus in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis, located outside the security barrier. The school made headlines in 2013 when US university Brandeis cut partnership ties following a demonstration on Al-Quds’ campus involving activists marching wearing black military gear, carrying fake assault riles, and raising the Nazi salute.
During the tree unveiling ceremony the archbishop and mufti posed for pictures together in front of the tree, followed by a debka dance performed by a traditional dance troupe while holding guns.
The Ramallah municipality announced this month that it will not be lighting the annual Christmas tree “out of respect for the martyrs.” In a statement released on December 2, the municipality explained that it would not display Christmas decorations in the city “which is hosting solidarity activities daily such as funerals of martyrs and demands for the return of martyrs’ corpses’ from Israel.”
Since the beginning of the recent wave of violence Israel has accused Palestinian authorities of waging an incitement campaign glorifying terror attacks.