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EXCLUSIVE: Israeli President Wishes 'Merry Christmas' and a New Direction for Middle East in 2024

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JERUSALEM, Israel – In an exclusive wide-ranging Christmas Eve interview with CBN News at the President's Residence, Israeli President Isaac Herzog discussed Israel's war of " civilizational values" with the Hamas terror group, a war he says will "define the way the family of nations operates."

“We are in a way protecting the values of a major part of the world who believes in freedom, liberties, democracy," Herzog told us, "because if we weren’t here and all Jews would be wiped off here, that’s what Hamas wants, these ISIS-type organizations, these jihadists – then Europe would be next and the United States would be next."

Herzog also discussed the Israelis held hostage by Hamas, the importance of the wider regional war, and the explosion of anti-Semitism worldwide.

The president noted the timing of the Christmas Eve holiday and spoke about religious freedom in Israel. He thanked Christians around the world for their support of Israel at this difficult time and talked about his long-standing relations with the Christian world.

Herzog extended holiday greetings to "all the Christian citizens of Israel," and added, "to wish all our allies and friends, supporters all over the world, and people of the world who are celebrating Christmas and the New Year, with a wish for Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

"Let's hope," he said, "that 2024 will bring with it a different direction for the people of the Middle East – a direction of peace, a direction of no more war.”

To hear more of President Herzog’s interview click on the video above.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and