Wishing Merry Christmas to my Christian friends

Lighting the Christmas Tree in Manger Square, Bethlehem

Now that I’ve got all the bad news out of the way, I would like to wish all my Christian readers and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2016 be a year of peace, happiness and prosperity for all of us.

For those of you lucky enough to be here today, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism has published a list of the Christmas services and festivities taking place around the country

Here is a great holiday message from the IDF:

Tens of thousands of pilgrims from across the globe are flocking to Bethlehem to celebrate Midnight Mass.

Palestinian Santas distribute gifts in Ramallah

As we all know, Israel is indeed a light unto the nations, particularly at Christmas-time:

Watch this video showing how Christians celebrate Christmas in Israel:

If you’re looking for some multi-culturalism (or an identity crisis!) go no further than Haifa, where they celebrate a Holiday of Holidays in the mixed Arab-Jewish neighbourhood of Wadi Nisnas.

A display of a Christmas tree, a crescent, and a menorah at the main traffic circle in front of the Bahai Gardens in Haifa for the Festival of Festivals, 2014

And here is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his message to our Christian friends:

I echo the PM’s prayers and blessings and say Amen! I hope that you have a peaceful, joyful festive season and I wish Merry Christmas to all those celebrating!

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11 Responses to Wishing Merry Christmas to my Christian friends

  1. Debby says:

    Merry Christmas, Anne!

  2. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Anne, how could you miss out on George Deek? He (for those who don’t know) is a Christian Arab Israeli (and if you think Muslim-Israelis might be conflicted, try that combination!) who is also an Israeli diplomat. I have had the pleasure of listening to him address a meeting at JW3 (the London equivalent of all those Jewish Cultural Centers to be found all over the US where there is a large enough Jewish population), and a record of what he says at such gatherings is to be found here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1J16RBbNpk (from a meeting at StandWithUsUK I couldn’t get to).

    He was brought up in Jaffa/Yafo and, as he says, his family fled then returned in 1948, and he tells a great story, and his responses to questions are sometimes even better than his prepared talks.

    Then there’s “A Shepherd’s Journey” by Ishmael Khaldi, a Driuze and also an Israeli diplomat. He isn’t a Christian, but he illustrates the openness of Israeli society, unlike nearly all her neighbours.

    Now that’s a Christmas tale as far as the ethics of the “good society” are concerned.

    Living in the UK, we’ll take all the holidays and celebrations we can, so we’re off tomorrow to friends who, like us, have been “abandoned” by their kids and grandkids for foreign parts, so that we can have a (kosher) turkey and all the trimmings, just like our Christian neighbours.

    Or, as Tiny Tim says, in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”, “God bless us, everyone!” Go and look it up and read it: it’s a short story, and great fun. Scrooge is a wonderful character.

    So, like Anne, if I may join her, a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Christians reading these columns.

    • anneinpt says:

      Good thinking Brian! Though I’m sure I’ve mentioned George Deek in the past somewhere on this blog.

      We’re going to be having the Jewish Israeli equivalent of Xmas supper – Friday night supper with family and friends. 🙂

      I read a funny post on Facebook recently: “Why the panic over Christmas dinner? I’m an Orthodox Jewish woman and prepare the equivalent every Friday night!”.

      And that’s no exaggeration!

      Have a great weekend and enjoy your holiday. I’m so jealous – it’s just regular workdays here besides Shabbat.

  3. Earl says:

    Thanks for your kind wishes, Anne. All the best for a safe and Happy New Year!

  4. Thank you, Anne!

    And Merry Christmas to you! God Bless!

  5. anneinpt says:

    For those of you who wonder what Jews do on Christmas eve,here’s a video giving you a rough idea:


  6. Dances With Typos says:

    That was fun, Annie, thank you for sharing, and a late happy 5775 to everyone!

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