Netanyahu wishes Christians a Merry Christmas

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's leader is wishing the world's Christians a "Merry Christmas."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recorded his Christmas greetings Wednesday during a visit to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

Netanyahu said he's "proud of our relations with our Christian brothers and sisters," and invited them to visit the Jewish state, which he said is "the land of our common heritage."

The Israeli leader observed that these days the forces "of barbarism that attack all religions attack Christians with particular vehemence." He said Israel "is the one place in the Middle East that the Christian community not only survives but thrives."

Christmas and the Jewish Hanukkah season coincide this year, so the Christian embassy's director gave Netanyahu a dreidel — a spinning top marked with Hebrew letters that's played with during Hanukkah.

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