Israel`s parliament bans Christmas tree display

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.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 24, 2013, 00:50 AM IST

Jerusalem: 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 spokesman for Yuli Edelstein, said today that 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.