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December 25, 2015 9:53 am

Christmas Greetings From Netanyahu and Abbas

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video message wishing a merry Christmas to Israel's Christian citizens and Christians worldwide. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video message wishing a merry Christmas to Israel’s Christian citizens and Christians worldwide. Photo: Screenshot.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas separately offered Christmas greetings to the world on Thursday. Because both leaders operate in the Middle East and neither is Christian, their respective messages are particularly worthy of note.

Netanyahu began his address by mentioning the festive nature of the holiday, calling it a “special opportunity to spend time with loved ones.”

He continued by expressing empathy for less fortunate Christians who are “experiencing violence, persecution and fear” in every part of the region except the Jewish state, where “religious freedom is a sacred principle” and “Christian citizens enjoy the full blessings of freedom and democracy, their equal rights enshrined in Israeli law.”

He ended by saying, “Let us remember the common heritage and values that unite us in the face of extremism and hatred, which we will never accept. From Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the city of peace, I join Christians everywhere, and especially those in the Middle East, in a common prayer for a more peaceful and tolerant world.”

Abbas opened his own message by appropriating the Christian savior.

“It is a divine blessing that this year we are coincidentally celebrating the birth of Jesus and the birth of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them, for the first time in centuries,” he said. “On this day, billions around the world celebrate the birth of two great messengers of love, hope, justice and peace.”

Jesus, Abbas asserted, “is a symbol for all Palestinians. Palestine and its people take pride in being the birthplace of Christianity and having the oldest Christian community in the world.”

The Muslim leader then proceeded to bash the Jewish state.

“In Bethlehem this year, Palestinians will celebrate Christmas surrounded by 18 illegal settlements and an annexation wall, which are taking over their land,” he said. “Over the past few months, we have seen how the Israeli government has continued to consolidate an apartheid regime by accelerating policies which destroy the two-state solution.”

To add to the Christmas spirit of “love, hope, justice and peace,” Abbas legitimized what has come to be known as the “knife intifada” — the wave of daily stabbing attacks against innocent Israelis.

“Palestinians continue to defy the daily oppression imposed by their occupier with steadfastness and love for their country,” he said.

Continuing his rant, Abbas pointed proudly to the “landmark agreement between the Holy See and the State of Palestine”; the “churches around the world supporting the call for recognition of the State of Palestine”; “an increasing number of Christian groups campaigning to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of our land”; the “several parliaments [that] have recommended their governments recognize the State of Palestine, including most recently the parliament of Greece”; and the raising of “our flag at the United Nations.”

Abbas went on to acknowledge that “this Christmas comes during a particularly difficult period.” But it turns out he wasn’t referring to the plight of Christians, who are being tortured, maimed, raped, sold into slavery, forced to convert to Islam and slaughtered across the Middle East and Africa. No, the “difficult period” he had in mind is one “when international intervention is desperately needed to protect the Palestinian people. Extremist Israeli settlers continue to attack Palestinians, including their mosques and churches, through acts of vandalism and terror.”

His lies did not stop there.

“Millions of Palestinians, as well as Christian and Muslim Arabs from the rest of the region, are not allowed to visit Jerusalem due to the Israeli occupation,” he said. “There can be no Palestinian state without east Jerusalem as its capital, reunited with Bethlehem and the rest of Palestine.”

To add weight to his frontal assault, Abbas condemned Daesh, the Arabic abbreviation for the Islamic State group, comparing it to Israel.

“We express our solidarity with the peoples who have been affected by their evil actions,” he said. “The use of any religion for political purposes is absolutely unacceptable and must be fought. Within the Palestinian context, we call upon the international community to stop Israeli attempts at turning a difficult but solvable political issue into an impossible religious war.”

While Netanyahu signed off his statement with “Merry Christmas and a happy new year,” Abbas concluded his own by reiterating: “Once again, we pray for the end of occupation and apartheid in order to resurrect justice in our holy country. Ending decades of exile and oppression is a must in order to bring peace to our region. On the holy occasion of Christmas, I salute all Palestinians wherever they are, hoping for the day that they will be able to live, worship and be free in their homeland.”

This select piece of self-serving belligerence tells you everything you need to know about why terms like “two-state solution” are a bad joke. It is not a demography issue or a matter of divvying up land. Nor does the ridiculous question of whether Abbas is a viable partner for negotiations with Netanyahu need asking. Everyone knows the answer, even those pretending otherwise.

Not only is the Palestinian entity a cog in the global Islamist machine, whose aims are hegemonic power, not peace with anyone, least of all Israel — but Abbas specifically has everything to lose by achieving actual statehood. It is the struggle itself that keeps him in business. It is the promotion of “martyrdom” in his society that gives him any sliver of internal clout, and prevents him from being dumped into the dustbin of history by the rest of the radical Muslim world.

But don’t take my word for it. Just hearken to his Christmas blessings.

Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner ( This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • John

    I was glad to see Mr. Abbas’ Christmas greetings, but half way through, I stopped, when his greetings turned poignantly politics filled with the Israeli hatred. Mr. Netanyahu’s greeting was well received. The Lord Jesus Christ tells all nations to lay down their arms and live in peace, loving and forgiving one another.

  • David Goshen

    It is hipocritical of Abu Mazem to send Christmas Greetings to Palestinean Arab Christians wo he has been engaged in ethnically clensing this population who he does not plan to include in the new Palestinean State.Similarly all miniroties will be excluded from the new Palestinean State.
    Abu Mazem also intends to ethnic cleanse all non Muslims from East Jerusalem!

  • ABBAS is lying through his teeth. If the Palestinians wanted peace it would happen immediately. Unfortunately the PLO do not want peace with the Jewish State.

  • Shirley Smith-Rhodes

    The following is an excerpt of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008.


    I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz . We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. – The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

    And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. – They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. – Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

    And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. – We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. – What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe .