Activist Linda Sarsour speaks while people participate a protest called March for Racial Justice in New York City.
(photo credit: STEPHANIE KEITH/REUTERS)
Activist Linda Sarsour tweeted on Saturday that “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth and is described in the Quran as being brown copper skinned with wooly hair.”
Many including Yair Netanyahu were quick to bash Sarsour for her tweet.
“Are you that stupid? On the cross above Jesus’ head was the sign ‘INRI’ – ‘Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm,’” the prime minister’s son replied, “Which means in Latin – Jesus of Nazareth king of the Jews! The Bible say that Jesus was born and raised in Judea!”
Many twitter users pointed out that Jesus was Jewish, to which Sarsour rejoined that the two were not mutually exclusive.
“Palestinian is a nationality not a religion,” Sarsour wrote. “Your point is not negated. Jews lived with Palestinians in peaceful co-existence before there was a state of Israel.”
Sarsour insisted that what she said was true, explaining that after being reported on Twitter, the social media site did not remove her comments.
“Folks reported my tweet that Jesus was a Palestinian. Twitter was obviously like, this doesn’t violate our standards. It’s also true. Jesus was born in Bethlehem which is in Palestine. Move on.”
She then proceeded to get political adding, “Why so upset by the truth. Jesus was born in Bethlehem... Bethlehem is in Palestine. It’s currently militarily occupied by Israel and home to a predominately beautiful Palestinian Christian community. Yes, the birthplace of Jesus is under military occupation.”
This is not the first time this claim has been made by a political persona. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been quoted saying that Jesus was a Palestinian, rather than a Judean. In 2014, during an annual Christmas message, he said, “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 2,000 years ago.”
Sarsour tweet echoed one by Rep. Ilhan Omar, who retweeted in April a New York Times
op-ed by Eric V. Copage, which claimed that “Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center believes that the idea of calling Jesus Palestinian is part of rebranding a new narrative for Palestinian history.
“For people who have no theological or historical rooting, the idea that Jesus was a Palestinian creates a new narrative for Palestinian history, which otherwise does not date back very far,” Cooper told The Jerusalem Post
to explain why Omar retweeted the Times article earlier in the year. “If one can say that Jesus was Palestinian 2,000 years ago, then that means the Jews are occupying Palestinian land.”
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