I would like to wish all my Christian readers and friends a (slightly belated) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2020 be a year of peace, happiness and prosperity for all of us.
PM Netanyahu extended Christmas greetings to our Christian friends saying:
“The State of Israel is the culmination of so many prophecies and our deepest held values. We share the common civilization, the Judeo-Christian civilization, that has given the world the values of freedom, individual liberty, the sanctity of life and the belief in one God. We are proud of our traditions. We are proud of our Christian friends,” he said.
“The State of Israel would not have come into being if it weren’t for the avid support of Christians in the 19th century, in the 20th century as well and in the 21st century,” Netanyahu continued. “We know that we have no better friends around the world than our Christian friends. So thank you. Thank you all for standing up with Israel, standing up for the truth. Merry Christmas.”
Some 177,000 Christians live in Israel, or roughly two percent of the population, according to figures released this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Tourists enjoyed visiting Israel, the Holy Land, over Christmas, saying that they loved seeing what they’ve learned in the Bible.
Palestinian Christians too were able to enjoy Christmas after the Israeli government allowed Gazan Christians to enter Israel to visit Christian sites during the festive season:
Christians in the Gaza Strip will be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas, Israel authorities said on Sunday, reversing a decision not to issue them permits.
On Sunday, the liaison office, known as COGAT, announced on Twitter that its director has “extended the travel facilitations for the Christian population of Gaza for the Christmas holiday.”
Bethlehem itself was set for a happy Christmas with more hotel rooms and facilities.
Let’s hope the Season of Goodwill carries over into the New Year and beyond.
I wish all my Christian friends a peaceful, joyful festive season and I wish Merry Christmas to all those celebrating!