PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Issam RImawi/Flash90) PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Issam RImawi/Flash90)
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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been ridiculed for calling Jesus of Nazareth a “Palestinian,” Israel National News reported.

In a pre-Christmas message delivered from Ramallah on Monday evening, quoted by diverse media, Abbas stated:

“In Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born – a Palestinian who brought the gospel and became a guide for millions worldwide, just as we, the Palestinians, are fighting for our freedom, 2,000 years later. We try to walk in his footsteps to the extent possible.”

“Abbas ought to read the New Testament carefully before spouting such nonsense,” said Yigal Palmor, Israeli Foreign Affairs spokesman.

Using a play on words attributed to Jesus, Palmor quipped, “But we forgive him, for he knows not what he does.”

As explained by Israel National News:

“The Christian bible describes Jesus of Nazareth as having been born to a Jewish mother – thus fully qualifying as a Jew. While his paternity is a matter of dispute, it is generally agreed that he was a Jewish rabbi who rebelled against the religious establishment of his day. Either way, the term ‘Palestinian’ did not exist during Jesus’ lifetime, and the oft-made declarations by PLO figures that he was a Palestinian Arab have been viewed with derision by Israelis and historians alike.”

Furthermore, “the term ‘Palestine’ was used by Roman conquerors as an alternative to the term Judea, when they overran the Second Jewish Temple several decades after Jesus’s death. By driving out the Jews, renaming the Land of Israel after the Philistines and changing Jerusalem’s name to Aelia Capitolina, the Romans hoped to extinguish Jewish sovereignty over the land forever – but this was not to be.

“Since the Roman conquest, ‘Palestine’ was simply the commonly-used term for the geographical region known to Jews as Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), but ‘Palestinian’ national identity only emerged during the 20th century as an Arab reaction to the Zionist movement.”

In his speech on Monday, Israeli daily Ha’aretz recounts, Abbas “criticized Israeli restrictions on the entry of Palestinians living abroad into the West Bank [Judea and Samaria],” and accused Israel of stealing land.

“We celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem under occupation,” Abbas said in the Christmas statement from Ramallah.

The PA leader claimed that Christian Arabs were not a minority in Palestine, but “an integral part of the Palestinian people,” Ha’aretz said, adding that in reality, the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are Sunni Muslims, not Christians.


“Meanwhile,” according to the Ha’aretz column, “a video posted on YouTube on Monday by a user called PLOMEDIA1 depicts what appears to be the pope travelling through Israel and the [socalled] West Bank. With a mournful version of Silent Night playing in the background, the pontiff passes by scenes of Palestinian suffering.

“The end credit says that the video was created by NAD,” Ha’aretz continues, “possibly a reference to the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department.”

That the PA leader, who is a Muslim, and other Palestinian spokespeople allege that Christians are suffering under Israeli “occupation” is especially noteworthy, considering the fact that persecution of Christians in Muslim lands is rampant, as reported in numerous journals worldwide.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the persecution of Christians by Muslims in PA-run territories as well as in certain Arab-Israeli communities, where more and more Christian-Israeli Arabs have enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces in order to serve the safest place for Christians in the Middle East.

Author: United with Israel Staff
Date: Dec. 25, 2013