Dear Friends and Colleagues,
On behalf of the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Canberra, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The celebration of Christmas holds particular significance for Palestinians as Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is a town of Palestine. Christian Palestinians form an integral part of the wider Palestinian community, which is demonstrated every December as the Muslims and Christians of Palestine unite in celebrating Christmas. Such interfaith solidarity is not a new phenomenon; Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully in Palestine for centuries. It is important now that we draw on this harmonious coexistence in working towards achieving self-determination for the Palestinian people.
Similarities can be drawn between the life of Jesus and that of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like Jesus, have demonstrated incredible resilience and steadfastness in the face of persecution and oppression. Palestinians also hold firmly to the principles of love, peace, and coexistence in striving towards the achievement of justice and self-determination.
In the past year, Palestinians have made great strides towards the achievement of these goals, continuing to present their cause on the international stage. In the coming year, we must continue these efforts and encourage the international community to lend their support in assuring Palestinian freedom and self-determination for generations to come.
It is my sincere hope that we can all follow the teachings of Jesus, regardless of religion, and unite in working towards achieving a just peace in Palestine.
Ambassador of the State of Palestine