By Raphael Ahren Mahmoud Abbas at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2010. (photo credit: Najeh Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Israeli officials reacted with bitter scorn to a Christmas message from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which he called Jesus a Palestinian and suggested Israel was to blame for the exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.
“He should have read the Gospel before uttering such offensive nonsense, but we will forgive him because he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel on Monday. Abbas’s statement is an “outrageous rewriting of Christian history,” according to Palmor. <!-
Earlier on Monday, Abbas published a lengthy Christmas greeting, calling Jesus “a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world.” Although he expressed his commitment to the peace negotiations with Israel, he expressed harsh criticism of Israeli policies, including an accusation that Jerusalem is responsible for the plight of Christians in the Holy Land.
“We celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem under occupation,” Abbas wrote. “This Christmas Eve, our hearts and prayers will be with the millions who are being denied their right to worship in their homeland.” He called the security barrier an “annexation Wall, which is stealing [Palestinians’] land and dooming their future.”
Read Entire Story in Times of Israel