"Christmas is one of the Palestinian symbols"
"Jesus was the first Palestinian,"
says senior Fatah leader
By Itamar Marcus
This year was no exception. On the occasion of Christmas, a top Fatah official spoke of Jesus as "the first Palestinian" and "'Christmas is one of the permanent Palestinian symbols."
In their historical revision, the PA and Fatah ignore that Jesus was a Jew ("Judean") according to Christian tradition and that the Roman Empire changed the name of the land Judea into "Palestine" only a hundred years after Jesus lived. In spite of the dishonesty, senior PA and Fatah leaders have consistently presented Jesus and his mother Mary as Palestinians and Jesus as "the first Palestinian Martyr," and the first Palestinian refugee, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.
The following is a statement from PLO Executive Committee member and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad yesterday at Khan Al-Ahmar, a site where Palestinian Bedouins have illegally erected buildings and dwellings.
"The lighting of the Christmas tree each year has many meanings in Palestine... Christmas is one of the permanent Palestinian symbols, and the whole world follows Mass in Bethlehem...
The children of Khan Al-Ahmar are happy about the lighting of this tree, as it is the symbol of the first Palestinian, Jesus, peace be upon him. We, the members of the Palestinian people, are celebrating Christmas together with everyone in the land of Palestine...'
The same false claims about Jesus were repeated by Secretary-General of the National Initiative [and PA Parliament member] Mustafa Barghouti:
"Jesus, who was born on this land, was a Palestinian and defeated his suffering."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 20, 2018]
A few among the many examples of PA and Fatah leaders calling Jesus a Palestinian include:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated that: "We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace." [WAFA, Dec. 22, 2014]
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki:
"The Christians know that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian. He really was from Jerusalem, and his resurrection was from Jerusalem."
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, April 20, 2017]
PA Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam:
Posted text: "To the authentic Palestinian, Jesus, and to the members of the [Palestinian] people - happy holidays"
The image shows a drawing of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns and a keffiyeh (Arab headdress) around his neck.
Text on image in English: "Made in Palestine"
[Facebook page of PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam, Dec. 25, 2017]
Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi:
Posted text: "For Christmas, the birthday of Jesus the first Palestinian and the first Martyr (Shahid), peace be upon him, we will surely stop the path of suffering (i.e., referring to the Via Dolorosa, which Christians believe to be the path Jesus walked on his way to crucifixion) and go up to the free Palestine, happy New Year."
Text on picture:
"A magnificent Christmas...
a happy New Year"
[Facebook page of Tawfiq Tirawi, member of Fatah Central Committee, Dec. 24, 2016]
Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs:
"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.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 22, 2014 and Ma'an, Dec. 21, 2014]
Adnan Al-Damiri, the official spokesman of the PA Security Forces, celebrated "the anniversary of love and peace, the birth day of Jesus the Palestinian."
[Facebook page of Adnan Al-Damiri, Dec. 25, 2014]
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]
Azzam Al-Ahmad also holds the positions of head of the PLO Department of Arab and Parliamentary Affairs, Fatah Commissioner of National Relations (i.e., between Hamas and Fatah), and Fatah Commissioner for Relations with Lebanon.
Khan Al-Ahmar is a site where Palestinian Bedouins have illegally erected dwellings and a school, mostly simple shacks, on land in Area C (i.e., land under full Israeli administration according to the Oslo Accords). The Israeli authorities have ordered the demolition of these structures and offered alternative sites for them. A number of petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court against the demolition orders have been considered and then rejected by the court. As of Dec. 23, 2018, the illegally constructed buildings have not been demolished. Palestinians have held protests at the site against the demolition, some of which have turned violent.