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Nazareth

NAZARETH

historic market city and pilgrimage site in the galilee region of israel; the only all-arab city in the state of israel.

Nazareth (2001 population, 68,700) is located on the southernmost ridge of the hilly Galilee region of northern Israel, approximately 18 miles (30 km) southeast of the coastal city of Haifa. Its name in Arabic is al-Nasira, meaning "the one who grants victory." The city was conquered by Crusaders in 1099, taken by Saladin in 1187, and then retaken by Frederick II in 1229. Muslim forces led by Baybars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt (12331277), recaptured Nazareth in 1263, massacring its Christian population. The city was virtually uninhabited for nearly three hundred years before being incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. The town gradually grew under the sponsorship of local and foreign Christian missions, attracting Christian Arab families from southern and coastal Palestine, the Hawran region of Syria, and what is now southern Lebanon.

Nazareth was an important administrative center during the British Mandate period (19221948) and was captured by Israel's pre-state military forces on 18 July 1948. Unlike in other Palestinian towns and cities, Nazareth's population was not displaced after 1948. The conscious policy of the Israeli military commanders in 1948 was to avoid violence and large-scale population displacements from this particular city. Immediately after the war, Nazareth's predominantly Christian population of 12,000 suddenly jumped to 18,000 with the arrival of more than 5,000 refugees, mostly Muslims, from neighboring Arab villages that had been destroyed during the hostilities. Overnight, Nazareth was transformed into the largest, densest, and most diverse concentration of Palestinians within the new state of Israel. Fifty-five years later, Nazareth's population had more than quintupled and Muslims greatly outnumbered Christians because of a higher Muslim birth rate and increasing Christian emigration.

The core of old Nazareth is situated in a long, bowl-like valley surrounded by several hills. Newer buildings and dense neighborhoods cover the hillsides above the old city, the elevation of which is approximately 1,200 feet (400 meters) above sea level. Well known throughout the Christian world as the home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and as the scene of the Annunciation, Nazareth is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims. The city boasts several churches, most notably the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation, completed in 1966, which is the largest church in the Middle East; the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (Gabriel's Church), constructed in the eighteenth century; and the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Synagogue Church. Nazareth is also a market town, a site of Arabic print media production, and home to several respected private primary and secondary schools administered by churches. It is known informally as the capital of the Arabs in Israel.

The municipality of Nazareth was founded in 1875. Until the mid-1990s, Nazareth housed the regional offices of state ministries and agencies, and the town's political life was dominated by a progressive political coalition, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (al-Jabba al-Dimuqratiyya lilSalam wa al-Musawa), made up of the Nazareth branch of the Communist Party, the Committee of Merchants and Professionals, and the Association of Arab University Graduates. From the mid-1970s until the mid-1990s, Nazareth was a political base for left-wing, secularist, and Arab nationalist political currents among Palestinian citizens of Israel. Natzerat Illit, a Jewish development town founded on lands expropriated from Nazareth and other surrounding Arab localities in 1957 as part of a government campaign to Judaize the Galilee, has a population of 47,900, of whom approximately 11 percent are Arab. Since the mid-1990s, government offices formerly located in Nazareth have been relocated to the administratively separate although geographically adjacent Natzerat Illit. In the late 1990s, as Nazareth's municipality was undertaking Nazareth 2000, a multifaceted urban renewal program, with help from the Israeli government and Israeli businesses, to prepare the city for the millennial festivities and a tourism boom, hostilities erupted in the old city of Nazareth when a Muslim shrine was obstructed by construction crews. The ensuing conflict resulted in rioting and violence, polarized Muslims and Christians in Nazareth, halted the urban renewal project, paralyzed municipal governance, and involved the Vatican, the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Palestinian Authority. In October 2000, Nazareth was again the site of violence, this time occasioned by pogrom-like raids into Nazareth by Jewish mobs from Natzerat Illit one week after the outbreak of the second Intifada. Three Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by police forces in the melée.

see also aqsa intifada, al-; palestine; palestinian citizens of israel.


Bibliography


El-Asmar, Fouzi. To Be an Arab in Israel. Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978.

Emmet, Chad. Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth. University of Chicago Geography Research Paper No. 237. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Rabinowitz, Dan. Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in the Galilee. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

benjamin joseph
updated by laurie king-irani

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"Nazareth." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Nazareth." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nazareth

Nazareth

Nazareth (năz´ərĬth), town (1993 pop. 53,500), N Israel, in Galilee. As the home of Jesus, it is a great pilgrimage and tourist center. Nazareth is also the trade center for an agricultural region. The town's manufactures include processed food, cigarettes, and pottery. Mineral water is bottled here and stone quarried nearby. Nazareth is first mentioned in the New Testament, although its settlement antedates historic times. It was captured (1099) by Crusaders, taken (1187) by Saladin, and retaken (1229) by Frederick II. In 1263, Muslims conquered Nazareth, massacring its Christian population. In 1517, Nazareth was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. The town was part of the British-administered Palestine mandate (1922–48) and was captured by Israeli forces in the 1948 war. Adjacent to it, Upper Nazareth was established as a Jewish residential town (1989 est. pop. 25,000). The Basilica of the Annunciation and the Mosque of Peace are in Nazareth.

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"Nazareth." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Nazareth

Nazareth a historic town in lower Galilee, in present-day northern Israel. Mentioned in the Gospels as the home of Mary and Joseph, it is closely associated with the childhood of Jesus and is a centre of Christian pilgrimage.
Nazarene a native or inhabitant of Nazareth or (chiefly in Jewish or Muslim use) a Christian; Jesus Christ is referred to as the Nazarene. The name is also used for a member of an early sect or faction of Jewish Christians, especially one in 4th-century Syria using an Aramaic version of the Gospels and observing much of the Jewish law.

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"Nazareth." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Nazareth

Nazareth Town between Haifa and the Sea of Galilee, n Israel. According to the Gospels it was where Jesus spent most of his childhood. Today, Nazareth is a place of Christian pilgrimage. Industries: tourism. Pop. (1997) 55,494.

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"Nazareth." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Nazareth." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nazareth

Nazareth

Nazareth •Goliath • Haworth • sabbath •Elizabeth • mammoth • Dartmouth •Weymouth • behemoth • Plymouth •Sidmouth • bismuth • azimuth •Monmouth • Bournemouth •Portsmouth • vermouth •pennyworth • Elspeth • ha'p'orth •Morpeth • Gareth • Nazareth •Tamworth • Hayworth • Woolworth •Wordsworth

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