The Palestinian Delegation in Washington D.C. has canceled Christmas.
Anticipating President Trump’s declaration that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the PLO’s Delegation to the United States made a declaration of its own, canceling the yearly event "A Bethlehem Christmas on the Hill."
The event was to take place on Capitol Hill Wednesday and include U.S. politicians, foreign diplomats and even members of the current administration, according to Haaretz. Officials in the delegation say the cancellation was in direct response to Trump's declision.
“In light of the White House’s official remarks made this afternoon, that President Trump will deliver a statement tomorrow possibly announcing a different U.S. policy on the status of Jerusalem,” a statement released by delegation officials Tuesday said, “We greatly regret to inform you that the planned reception, 'A Bethlehem Christmas on the Hill'…will, unfortunately, be canceled.”
“We, the PLO General Delegation to the US, were equally passionate about the event,” the statement added. “It planned to bring a live-stream video of Christian leaders and the children of Bethlehem with a Christmas message of peace. Out of care for our leaders and children, it might be unsuitable for them to speak and sing shortly after the possibility of an announcement that runs counter to the message of peace.”
President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it's time to "acknowledge the obvious" as he ordered the State Department to begin moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The move fulfills a campaign promise made to religious conservatives. But it could also inflame tensions across the Middle East.
The U.S. would be the first country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians. Other countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.