In his annual Christmas message to the world, Bethlehem mayor Victor Batarseh has called for a comprehensive boycott of Israel, arguing that this would force the Jewish state to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.

“It worked with apartheid South Africa,” Batarseh declared. “We call for boycotting Israel culturally, educationally, in sports, economics and trade. We want peace, but boycott is the only language that Israel understands.”

The mayor’s anti-Israel message comes as Christians throughout the Arab world – and in Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip – are facing serious threats. But of course Batarseh has chosen to bury his head in the sand and does not want to look around him and see what is happening to his fellow Christians.

The mayor’s Christmas message completely ignored the fact the Arab Spring has been anything but a blessing for Christians living in Arab countries.

According to Rita Daou, a reporter for Agence France-Press, “The rise of Islamist movements in countries swept by the Arab revolutions has sent shudders throughout the region’s Christians, who fear for their survival.”

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