BACKLASH

Bethlehem Locals Blame Trump for Half-Empty Christmas

Manger Square, the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, had a lot more vacant space on Sunday than normal, according to reports in the Jerusalem Post and elsewhere. Some locals attributed this to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the U.S. Embassy there eventually. Palestinian university students reportedly handed out flyers wishing a “Merry Christmas” and reminding visitors that “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.” Locals estimated that the number of tourists in Manger Square on Sunday was less than half of last year, with many were deterred by the rain—and by clashes that had broken out since Trump's announcement.