Palestinians slam Jerusalem festival as attempt to ‘Judaize’ city

The annual Festival of Light is an Israeli attempt to “Judaize” the city and “undermine its Arab and Islamic identity,” a Palestinian spokesman said. 

By: World Israel News Staff

The Palestinians are irate over Jerusalem’s 10th annual Festival of Light, claiming that the event is an Israeli attempt to “Judaize” the city, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.

During the festival, which takes place this year from June 27 to July 5, the Old City of Jerusalem is brought to light. Dramatic illumination of the ancient architecture of the Old City as well as the installation of light statues, performances and pieces of museum artwork conceived by some of the leading light artists from Israel and the world are complemented by onstage and street performances.

Yusef al-Mahmoud, spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, stated Sunday that the festival was one of Israel’s methods of “Judaizing” Jerusalem.

“What the occupation authorities call the International Light Festival in our occupied capital is nothing but another tool of Judaization that the occupation authorities are working to impose,” he said in a statement, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of attempting to undermine Jerusalem’s “Arab and Islamic identity” while promoting the Jewish one.

“The truth requires that the festival be called the Festival of Dimness and not the Festival of Light,” al-Mahmoud said. “The occupation is working to use all means, including the light and its aesthetics, to serve its black goals.”

He further accused the Jewish state of seeking to “impose more dimness on the history and present of the holiest and most ancient Arab city.”

The Festival of Lights is a “destructive practice” by Israel to wipe out its “Arab and Palestinian” character, Mahmoud added.

Hatem Abdel-Qader, a senior Fatah official from Jerusalem and a former PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that the event was aimed at “forging the historical facts and presenting an Israeli narrative that contradicts the true narrative that emphasizes the Arab identity of Jerusalem.”

Israel’s practices in Jerusalem, he said, “will not establish for it a history or a policy or a law in an Arab Islamic city that is the capital of the Palestinian state.”