This Christmas season President Abbas’ Fatah Party and leaders of his Palestinian Authority government revived an old falsehood: Jesus Christ was a Palestinian. This is despite the fact that the Romans did not change the name of Judea to Syria-Palestina until after the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE, approximately a century after Jesus.
Most Christians will say that Jesus was born and raised a Jew. In fact the Gospel of Luke says when he was eight-days-old Jesus was circumcised into the Jewish religion and brought to the holy temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God (hey not a bad job of research for a Jewish guy).
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
And don’t forget the first Christians considered themselves Jews.
But none of that matters to the “moderate” terrorists of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. During the month of December, Palestinian leaders celebrated Christmas by claiming the Christian Messiah was one of their own.
Below are some examples (all the translations are from Palestinian Media Watch):
Broadcast on December 7 on the official Palestinian TV station, the District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh, Dr. Laila Ghannam, told viewers to enjoy the Christmas holiday:
We are standing here, Muslims and Christians, in Yasser Arafat Square, [named after] the symbol of our cause, to celebrate Christmas. So too we will stand united to celebrate victory, far off as it may be. Merry Christmas, let’s celebrate and be merry; Jesus the Messiah is Palestinian, and we are Palestinians and will continue to hold our heads high.
A December 17 report in the official Palestinian Authority Newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, covered the Christmas tree lighting in Jericho:
Fatah Central Committee member Dr. Saeb Erekat and District Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Majed Al-Fatiani, lit up the Christmas tree in central Jericho on Monday [Dec. 15, 2014] evening… Erekat said that several days ago, Fatah Revolutionary Council member Ziyad Abu Ein had lit up an olive tree with his pure blood, thereby joining the procession of [Palestinian] Martyrs (Shahids), and added: ‘Shouldn’t it be so, since the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus, peace be upon him, was from among us?
The December 21 edition of Ma’an News (an independent Palestinian Newspaper) reported:
Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs… noted that ‘We believe in our lord Jesus, peace be upon him, and in his gospel, his prophecy, and his sanctity. In keeping with his creed, we celebrate his birth day just as we do that of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, because all prophets are brothers. In addition, Christmas is also a Palestinian holiday, because Jesus, peace be upon him, was Palestinian. He was born in Palestine; lived and was sent [as prophet] to Palestine. Therefore, Christmas has a special Palestinian flavor.
The report Ma’an News report above also appeared in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida the next day.
Even “moderate” President Abbas made the claim. He was quoted in WAFA (the Palestinian news service) December 22, saying:
We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace, which has guided millions from the moment that his message came out from a small grotto in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. His message resonates among all of those who are seeking justice and among our people who have been the guardians of the holy sites for generations. It resonates in our prayers for our people in Gaza.
The Palestinians promote this falsehood in their effort to erase Jewish history and Jewish connection to the holy land. Their position that the propaganda above supports is that there was never a Jewish presence in the holy land. And their propaganda is given credence by the mainstream media when for example they say, “Jews claim the Temple Mount was the site of their two temples to God.” When Christian reporters even present the Palestinian claim as a possibility they’re not only denying the history, but they are denying their own faith.