Israeli Prime Minister Offers to Give Christians Guided Tour of Israel for Christmas 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, February 12, 2017. | (Photo: Reuters/Gali Tibbon/Pool)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday wished "Merry Christmas" to Christians and said he is "very proud" to be the leader of a country that doesn't shy away from saying "Christmas."

"It's a pleasure for me, on Christmas Eve, to be here, standing in Jerusalem, the holy city," Netanyahu said in a video greeting, standing on a balcony overlooking Jerusalem. "I'm very proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel. A country that says Merry Christmas, first to its Christian citizens, and to our Christian friends around the world."

Netanyahu continued, "I'm proud that Israel is the country in which Christians not only survive, but they thrive because we believe in this friendship among people and we protect the rights of everyone to worship in the holy shrines behind me," he said.

To be "politically correct," some people wish "happy holidays," and not "Merry Christmas."

The Israeli prime minister also promised that next Christmas he will lead a tour "in the footsteps of Jesus and the origin of our Judeo-Christian heritage."

"For those of you who come to Israel, I'm going to take a guided tour. In fact, I'll be your guide on this guided tour," he said.

Also on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump noted that people are saying "Merry Christmas again."

"People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase," he tweeted.

Earlier during the day, Trump spoke to soldiers overseas thorough a video conference. He said America is saying "merry Christmas, again, very, very proudly," according to The Hill.

At the National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace ceremony at the White House on Nov. 30, Trump shared the Christmas story.

"Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history," he said. "Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are, each one of us is a child of God. That is a true source of joy this time of year. That is what makes every Christmas merry."

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