A Christmas tree stands in the courtyard of the Nativity Church in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has removed a prohibition against the placement of Christmas trees in Israeli hotels.
Prior to the change, hotels that offered “references to gentile holidays” were liable to lose their kosher licenses, hurting the chances of religiously observant customers staying there.
The removal of the Christmas tree restriction came in response to a petition from Hiddush - Freedom of Religion for Israel, a nongovernmental organization that filed a petition in protest of the ban with Israel’s attorney general and the Ministry of Religious Services.
“The importance of our victory is twofold,” said Rabbi Uri Regev, president and CEO of Hiddush, the Religion News Service reported. “First, it will finally give the numerous Jewish and non-Jewish groups that visit Israel the freedom and respect which has been denied them,” and second, “it is an important lesson in the development of the rule of law in Israel, which emphasizes that the Chief Rabbinate is bound by Israeli law and is not above it,” Regev said.sign up to our newsletter