Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished Christians the world over a Merry Christmas on Thursday, lamenting the plight of Middle East Christians who he said are subject to persecution in every country of the region, except for Israel. "I wish Christians in Israel and all over the world a very Merry Christmas," Netanyahu said in the YouTube video."Christmas is a special opportunity to spend time with loved ones and to celebrate this most festive of holidays," he added.He called on the world's Christian communities to remember those who are less fortunate, the Christianss suffering from persecution across the Middle East.Netanyahu said that Israel was the one exception in the Middle East where Christians live without fear, violence or persecution."Here in Israel religious freedom is a sacred principle. Israel's Christian citizens enjoy the full blessing of freedom and democracy. Their equal rights are enshrined in Israeli law," Netanyahu said."Let us remember the common heritage and values that unite us in the face of extremism and hatred, which we will never accept," he vowed."From Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and the city of peace I join Christians everywhere, especially those in the Middle East, in a common prayer for a more peaceful and tolerant world."