Every Christmas in recent years, at least one senior Palestinian official comes out and says Jesus was a Palestinian. This year is no exception, with the claim coming from the top leader himself, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. It is widely believed, according to the scriptures and historians, that Jesus was Jewish.
“In Bethlehem, more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born, a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world,” Abbas said in his Christmas message. “As we Palestinians strive for our freedom two millennia later, we do our best to follow his example.”
The Palestinian leader also took the opportunity to bash Israel, writing “our hearts and prayers will be with the millions who are being denied their right to worship in their homeland. We are thinking of our people in Gaza, trapped under siege, and of those who are prevented from worshiping in Bethlehem.”
“Our prayers,” he added, “are with the churches and mosques of Jerusalem which remind the world of the Arab identity of our occupied capital."
The Jerusalem Post noted that Abbas did not mention “the Islamization of Gaza, or that the Christian population there fell from some 3,000 in 2007 – soon after Hamas took over – to about 1,500 now.”
Using the holiday to slam Israel was “not exactly in the spirit of Christmas,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “Maybe he needs a hug from Santa?”
“He should have read the gospel before uttering such offensive nonsense, but we will forgive him because he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Palmor said, calling Abbas’s statement is an “outrageous rewriting of Christian history.”
A Christmas video greeting posted this week from the Palestine Liberation Organization repeats the Jesus-was-Palestinian meme.
“Every Christmas Palestine celebrates the birth of one of its own, Jesus Christ,” said the description of the video on YouTube.
In the animated video, Jews and Israelis are portrayed as militant, with rifles and attack dogs, while a cutout figure of what appears to be the pope riding a horse-drawn chariot is blocked by the security barrier that separates parts of the West Bank from Israel.
Refuting the imagery presented in the video, the website Honest Reporting wrote: “And what would happen today if a Jewish boy like Jesus decided to enter Palestinian-controlled areas? Most likely he’d have to lead his donkey through a hail of stones being thrown at him on the road.”