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Who was the Palestinian Jesus?

Itamar Marcus  |

According to the Palestinian Authority, Jesus was:

  • “The first Palestinian”

  • “The first Palestinian Martyr (Shahid)”

  • “The first Palestinian fida'i (self-sacrificing fighter)”

  • “A Palestinian messenger”

  • “A Palestinian par excellence”

  • “The great grandfather of the Palestinian people”

  • A prophet of Islam (not Christianity)

And accordingly:

  • Christmas is a Palestinian national holiday

The Palestinian Authority is desperate to create a Palestinian identity built on an ancient Palestinian history, even though none existed. PMW has shown that PA regularly falsely claims that it is a 5000-year-old nation, and regularly claims other people’s history to be its own. One of the striking examples of this is the PA’s falsely linking themselves to one of the most significant figures of all time, claiming that Jesus, a Jew from the nation of Judea, was actually a Palestinian.

This PA fairy-tale history is a repeating message, trumpeted even by the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. Saeb Erekat said Jesus was “the first Palestinian.” Mahmoud Abbas spoke about “Jesus… a Palestinian messenger,” and said that Christmas is a Palestinian holiday.”  Yasser Arafat said "Jesus was the first Palestinian Martyr.” The official PA daily just this week wrote that “Jesus… was the first Palestinian fida'i (self-sacrificing fighter),” and a PA diplomat even claimed that Palestinians are the descendants of Jesus: “Jesus … was the great grandfather of the Palestinian people.” And this morning on PA TV, the PA Government Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem, sent blessings to Christians on the “holiday the birth of the Palestinian prophet Jesus the son of Mary.”

The top PA religious leaders likewise have adopted this myth, adding, based on Islamic claims, that Jesus preached not Christianity but Islam.

Once Jesus has been turned into a Palestinian, the PA likewise has to turn Mary into a Palestinian, who has been presented as the patron saint of the Palestinian cause. Finally, with Jesus a prominent Palestinian Christmas becomes a Palestinian national holiday.

As with all the PA revision, historical documentation and evidence is irrelevant. The PA for example, ignores the fact that that “Palestine” as the name for the Land of Israel/Judea, didn’t come into being until around 100 years following the death of Jesus, when the Roman Empire changed the name of Judea to Palestine, as punishment to the Jewish nation after their rebellion. It was Rome’s attempt to sever the Jewish people’s link with their land, which of course failed.

So who is the Palestinian Jesus? The following are some examples that have appeared in the official PA/Fatah press:

Jesus the Palestinian

First and foremost, the Palestinian Authority declares Jesus himself a Palestinian.

PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam:

Text on Facebook post reads: "To the authentic Palestinian Jesus, and to the members of the [Palestinian] people - happy holidays"

[Facebook page of PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam, Dec. 25, 2017]



PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas:

“Following is the full text of the president’s Christmas message:
“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.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Dec 23, 2013]

PA Government Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem:

“Permit me to send blessings to the Christian communities that use the Gregorian calendar for this holiday. The holiday of the birth of the Palestinian prophet Jesus the son of Mary.”

[Official PA TV, Dec. 24, 2020]

Spokesman of the PA Security Forces, Adnan Al-Damiri:

"On [the occasion of] the anniversary of love and peace, the birth day of Jesus the Palestinian, [we convey] New Year wishes to Palestine, its residents and those who love it."

[Facebook page of the official spokesman of the PA Security Forces, Adnan Al-Damiri, Dec. 25, 2014]

Palestinian historian Khalil Shoka on PA TV:

"The Christian religion started here [Bethlehem]...The entire world is focused on this city because of its important historical and traditional role... because in the final analysis, Jesus is a Palestinian."

[Palestinian historian Khalil Shoka on PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 16, 2012]

Jesus the first Palestinian

Not only was he a Palestinian, but he was the first Palestinian, and the grandfather of the Palestinian people, and a Palestinian “par excellence”:

Fatah Central Committee member, Tawfiq Tirawi:

"We wish our united Palestinian people a new Christmas that will herald liberty, as did Jesus, the first Palestinian, peace be upon him."

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member, Tawfiq Tirawi, Dec. 24, 2014]

PA diplomat Dr. Jabra Shomali:

“There is no doubt that the Jesus Christ you [President Donald Trump] worship as God is the great grandfather of the Palestinian people... If you [Trump] do not want to fail again in the subject of history, then read the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 15, verse 28, where Matthew wrote about a Canaanite woman at the time of Jesus Christ said to her "O woman, great is your faith!" This woman was a great grandmother of the Palestinian people.”

[Written by PA diplomat Dr. Jabra Shomali and posted to the official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 3, 2020]

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, PA Mufti:

“The Palestinian nation is rooted in this land since the Canaanites and the Jebusites. The Arab presence – Christian and Islamic – on this land is uninterrupted. Jesus is a Palestinian par excellence.”

[Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories: PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 30, 2012]

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, PA Mufti:

 “Jesus was born in this land. He lived in this land. It is known that he was born in Bethlehem… He also lived in Nazereth, moved to Jerusalem. So he was a Palestinian par excellence.”

[Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories: PA TV (Fatah), Apr. 21, 2009]

Jesus the Palestinian Martyr and self-sacrificing fighter

So what, according to the Palestinian Authorities, did this Palestinian par excellence, grandfather of the Palestinian people do? He was a Palestinian Islamic Martyr, and self-sacrificing fighter. Although not mentioned by any of the PA sources, according to the fundamental and repeating PA ideology, as an Islamic Martyr, Jesus would have been greeted in paradise by 72 dark-eyed virgins:

Editorial in the official PA daily:

“Jesus, peace be upon him, was a messenger of Allah, and he was the first Palestinian fida'i (self-sacrificing fighter) who was crucified by the believers of the Jewish religion, but it only appeared to them [that they killed him].”

[Official PA TV Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 20, 2020]

Fatah Central Committee member, Tawfiq Tirawi:

 “This is blessed Christmas, The birthday of our lord Jesus the Messiah, the first Palestinian and the first Martyr.”

[Tawfiq Tirawi Facebook page, Dec. 24, 2019]

Saeb Erekat, Sec. Gen. of PLO Executive Committee, member Fatah's Central Committee:

“Saeb Erekat, a member of the Fatah's Central Committee, referred to "the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus."

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 17, 2014]

Author: "The Martyr President Yasser Arafat used to say: ‘Jesus was the first Palestinian Martyr.’ I heard him say that sentence many times."
PA TV Host: “He [Jesus] was a Palestinian; no one denies that.”
Author: "He [Jesus] was the first Palestinian Martyr. He (Arafat) attributed this Martyrdom to Palestine, as well."

[Exchange during religious program This Is Our Religion, broadcast on PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 3, 2010]

Jesus of the (Palestinian) Holy Trinity

In an attempt to elevate the stature of their own Palestinian leaders, the PA declares a new holy Trinity – Jesus, Arafat, Abbas:

Editorial in PA official daily:

“Jesus is a Palestinian; the self-sacrificing Yasser Arafat is a Palestinian; Mahmoud Abbas, the messenger of peace on earth, is a Palestinian. How great is this nation of the holy Trinity!”

[Editorial in PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 30, 2012]

Jesus the Islamic Prophet

Although the Palestinian Authorities recognize that Jesus is worshipped by Christians, they hold him to be an Islamic prophet who taught Islam to his followers:

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, PA Mufti:

"We’re talking about an ongoing chain [of prophets of Islam], from Adam to Muhammad. It’s an ongoing chain, representing the call for monotheism, and the mission of Islam… The prophets were all of the same religion [Islam]… We respect Jesus, we believe in him [as a Muslim prophet], just as we believe in the prophet Muhammad."

[Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories: PA TV (Fatah), Apr. 21, 2009]

Mary, mother of Jesus and Patron Saint of the Palestinian cause

Following Jesus being declared the first Palestinian, his mother, Mary, is also recognized as an important figure: the patron saint of the Palestinian cause. Mary, therefore, was also Palestinian.

Official Fatah Facebook page:

Virgin Mary, the daughter of the Palestinian Galilee, is the Patron Saint of the oppressed and not the oppressor…”

[Written by PA diplomat Dr. Jabra Shomali and posted to the official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 3, 2020]

Fatah Communications and Education Authority:

"If we are proud of the holiness of our land, then we are proud and pride ourselves that the first and most important holy woman among the nations and peoples is from the holy land: The Virgin Mary - the woman of love and peace - is of the nation of Palestine, whose roots are grounded in the depths of history. Our movement takes note of its pride in all the women Martyrs, prisoners, Palestinian fighters, who have become a model of sacrifice and a school that teaches the meaning of giving and of sacrifice."
[Fatah Communications and Education Authority statement in honor of International Women's Day, posted to the Fatah website, March 8, 2010]

Christmas as a Palestinian national holiday
Jesus’s position as the foremost Palestinian and Islamic prophet and Martyr therefore casts Christmas in a new light – as the national holiday of the Palestinian people, the children of Jesus:

Official PA daily:

"The entire Palestinian people celebrates Christmas because we are proud of Jesus being Palestinian."

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 24, 2019]

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority:

"Christmas is a national-religious holiday and not just a religious one. For all of us Palestinians, this holiday is ours. Therefore we all celebrate it. The Palestinian leadership is going to church to be present for [Christmas] Mass… It is our obligation to do this, because it – as I told you – is a religious holiday for our [Christian] people, and you are our people, and it is [also] a national holiday for us all."  

[PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, speaking on official PA TV News, Dec. 28, 2019]

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority:

"Christmas is a Palestinian holiday… There is a special significance to the Christmas celebrations in Palestine, since it has clearly become a national holiday in which all of our people participate, starting from [PA] President of Palestine [Mahmoud Abbas] and down to the last of the children."  

[Abbas, quoted on the official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 20, 2019]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, advisor on Islam to Mahmoud Abbas:

"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.'"

[Mahmoud Al-Habbash, supreme Sharia Judge, quoted by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 22, 2014 and Ma'an, Dec. 21, 2014]


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