Address by Beyamin Netanyahu .. Seeking Peace For All Citizens of Israel This Christmas

SMS iconAs a Jew, this is a time of year to enjoy the best of Christianity, its unique .. though often lost … messages of peace and love. 

This year, it seems to me that this message is especially relevant to me as an academic, with the intense acrimony over the recent efforts of the American Studies Association and now  the much larger Modern Language Association to ostracize Israeli academics and the counter charges that this itself is anti-semitism.
Hopefully, I can help calm the waters by sharing the remarkable address from Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to all of Israel’s Christian citizens as well as his message, President Peres’ message and the message of Pope Francis to all wishing for peace in what sadly is called the “Holy Land.”
It may be a desperate act on my part, but I would welcome contributions to THE Ave by anyone with similar messages from any of those who support the boycott of Israel.
To return to a quote from the Vietnam era, can’t we seek peace rather than war?

Benyamin Netanyahu’s Christmas Wishes to Israel’s Christian Citizens

(from The Forward) Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu offered his holiday blessings to the Christian citizens of Israel.

The video, released in Hebrew on the prime minister’s official channel, was widely distributed to Christian communities around the country. Calling them “loyal citizens”, Netanyahu commended the efforts of those active in recruiting Christian citizens to serve in the army.

President Shimon Peres issued his own holiday blessings, wishing the Christian community a Merry Christmas accompanying a youth choir with a rendition of Jingle Bells.

“It is my pleasure to bring you the greetings of the whole people of Israel, a holiday for one religion is a holiday for the whole county,” Peres said. “As a state, we are responsible for your safety, freedom and holy sites and for your feeling as free and equal citizens that carry with them the hope that unites us for peace and a better world.

“The Lord is doing what he can but we must do what we need to do, to follow his wish and our destiny, to live in peace. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu issued a holiday greeting on YouTube to “our Christian friends around the world.”

“We celebrate Christmas with you, we know the importance you attach to our common heritage, to the State of Israel and to the city of Jerusalem, where so much of our common history was forged,” Netanyahu said. “We have a great past, we have common values, we have the desire to seize a common future of security, prosperity and peace.”

Peres also issued a greeting, joking that it was almost a white Christmas in the country that saw a major snowstorm two weeks ago.

Thousands of tourists and Christian pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, during his midnight mass sermon at the Church of the Nativity, called for a “just and equitable solution,” for the Palestinians in their call for a Palestinian state. He also called on Christians not to forget “the prisoners and their families who hope for their release, the poor who have lost their land and their homes demolished, families waiting to be reunited, those out of work and all who suffer from the economic crisis.”

“We are invited to be optimistic and to renew our faith that this land, home of the three monotheistic religions, will one day become a haven of peace for all people,” he said.

The service was attended by attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Pope Francis prayed for “a favorable outcome” from the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians during his Christmas Day address Wednesday from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
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