Jesus was a Palestinian and Why it Matters

Because of modern alarmist reactions to the word “Palestine,” many non-Arabs and non-Muslims take offense when it is argued that Jesus was a Palestinian (peace be upon him). Jesus’ ethnicity, skin color, and culture often accompany this conversation, but it is interesting how few people are willing to acknowledge the fact he was non-European.  A simple stroll down the Christmas aisle of your local shopping store will show you the dominant depiction of Jesus: a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, White man.

Islamophobia and anti-Arab propaganda have conditioned us to view Palestinians as nothing but heartless suicide bombers, “terrorists,” and “enemies of freedom/democracy.” Perpetual media vilification and demonization of Palestinians, in contrast to the glorification of Israel, obstructs us from seeing serious issues such as the Palestinian refugee crisis, the victims of Israel’s atrocious three-week assault on Gaza during the winter of 2008-2009 , the tens of thousands of homeless Palestinians, and many other struggles that are constantly addressed by human rights activists around the world. To speak from the perspective of the Palestinians, especially in casual non-Arab and non-Muslim settings, generates controversy because of the alignment between Palestinians and violent stereotypes. So, how could Jesus belong to a group of people that we’re taught to dehumanize?

When I’ve spoken to people about this, I’ve noticed the following responses: “No, Jesus was a Jew,” or “Jesus is not Muslim.” The mistake isn’t a surprise to me, but it certainly reveals how ignorant much of society still is. Being a Palestinian does not mean one is Muslim or vice versa. Prior to the brutal and unjust dispossession of indigenous Palestinians during the creation of the state of Israel, the word “Palestine” was a geographic term applied to Palestinian Muslims, Palestinian Christians, and Palestinian Jews. Although most Palestinians are Muslim today, there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority who are often overlooked, especially by the mainstream western media.

The dominant narrative in the mainstream media not only distorts and misrepresents the Palestinian struggle as a religious conflict between “Muslims and Jews,” but consequentially pushes the lives of Palestinian Christians into “non-existence.”   That is, due to media reluctance of reporting the experiences and stories of Palestinian Christians, it isn’t a surprise when White Americans are astonished by the fact that Palestinian and Arab Christians do, in fact, exist.  One could argue that the very existence of Palestinian Christians is threatening, as it disrupts the sweeping and overly-simplistic “Muslims versus Jews” Zionist narrative. It is because recognizing the existence of Palestinian Christians opposing Israeli military occupation, as well as Jews who oppose the occupation, is to reveal more voices, perspectives, and complexities to a conflict that has been dominantly portrayed as “Palestinians hate Jews” or “Palestinians want to exterminate Jews.”

Yeshua (Jesus’ real Aramaic name) was born in Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank and home to one of the world’s largest Palestinian Christian communities.   The Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world, marks the birthplace of Jesus and is sacred to both Christians and Muslims.  While tourists from the around the world visit the site, they are subject to Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks.  The Israeli construction of the West Bank barrier also severely restricts travel for local Palestinians.  In April of 2010, Al-Jazeera English reported Israeli authorities barring Palestinian Christian from entering Jerusalem and visiting the Church of Holy Sepulchre during Easter.  Yosef Zabaneh, a Palestinian Christian merchant in Ramallah, told IPS News: “The Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank doesn’t distinguish between us, but treats all Palestinians with contempt.”

Zabaneh’s comments allude to the persistent dehumanization of Palestinians, as well as the erasure of Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims.  By constantly casting Palestinians as the villains, even the term “Palestine” becomes “evil.”  There is refusal to recognize, for example, that the word “Palestine” was used as early as the 5th century BCE by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.  John Bimson, author of “The Compact Handbook of Old Testament Life,” acknowledges the objection to the use of “Palestine”:

The term ‘Palestine’ is derived from the Philistines. In the fifth century BC the Greek historian Herodotus seems to have used the term Palaistine Syria (= Philistine Syria) to refer to the whole region between Phoenicia and the Lebanon mountains in the north and Egypt in the south… Today the name “Palestine” has political overtones which many find objectionable, and for that reason some writers deliberately avoid using it. However, the alternatives are either too clumsy to be used repeatedly or else they are inaccurate when applied to certain periods, so “Palestine” remains a useful term…

Deliberately avoiding the use of the name “Palestine” not only misrepresents history, but also reinforces anti-Palestinian racism as acceptable.  When one examines the argument against Jesus being a Palestinian, one detects a remarkable amount of hostility aimed at both Palestinians and Muslims.  One cannot help but wonder, is there something threatening about identifying Jesus as a Palestinian?  Professor Jack D. Forbes writes about Jesus’ multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment:

When the Romans came to dominate the area, they used the name Palestine. Thus, when Yehoshu’a [Jesus] was born, he was born a Palestinian as were all of the inhabitants of the region, Jews and non-Jews. He was also a Nazarene (being born in Nazareth) and a Galilean (born in the region of Galilee)… At the time of Yehoshu’a’s birth, Palestine was inhabited by Jews—descendants of Hebrews, Canaanites, and many other Semitic peoples—and also by Phoenicians, Syrians, Greeks, and even Arabs.

Despite these facts, there are those who use the color-blind argument: “It does not matter what Jesus’ ethnicity or skin color was. It does not matter what language he spoke. Jesus is for all people, whether you’re Black, White, Brown, Yellow, etc.” While this is a well-intentioned expression of inclusiveness and universalism, it misses the point.

When we see so many depictions of Jesus as a Euro-American White man, the ethnocentrism and race-bending needs to be called out.  In respect to language, for instance, Neil Douglas-Klotz, author of “The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus,” emphasizes on the importance of understanding that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not English, and that his words, as well as his worldview, must be understood in light of Middle Eastern language and spirituality.  Douglas-Klotz provides an interesting example which reminds me of the rich depth and meaning of Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi words, especially the word for “spirit”:

Whenever a saying of Jesus refers to spirit, we must remember that he would have used an Aramaic or Hebrew word. In both of these languages, the same word stands for spirit, breath, air, and wind.  So ‘Holy Spirit’ must also be ‘Holy Breath.’ The duality between spirit and body, which we often take for granted in our Western languages falls away.  If Jesus made the famous statement about speaking or sinning against the Holy Spirit (for instance, in Luke 12:10), then somehow the Middle Eastern concept of breath is also involved.

Certainly, no person is superior to another based on culture, language, or skin color, but to ignore the way Jesus’ Whiteness has been used to subjugate and discriminate against racial minorities in the West and many other countries is to overlook another important aspect of Jesus’ teachings: Love your neighbor as yourself.  Malcolm X wrote about White supremacists and slave-owners using Christianity to justify their “moral” and “racial superiority” over Blacks. In Malcolm’s own words, “The Holy Bible in the White man’s hands and its interpretations of it have been the greatest single ideological weapon for enslaving millions of non-white human beings.” Throughout history, whether it was in Jerusalem, Spain, India, Africa, or in the Americas, White so-called “Christians” cultivated a distorted interpretation of religion that was compatible with their racist, colonialist agenda (see my post on Christopher Columbus for more details).

In my discussions about Jesus being a person of color – a Palestinian – I encounter the argument that Jesus is depicted as Asian in Asian-majority countries, as Black in Black churches and homes, as Middle Eastern in Middle Eastern countries, etc.  While it is true that people of color portray Jesus as their own race, it is highly unlikely that these depictions will ever become the dominant, mainstream, and normalized image of Jesus. This speaks volumes about institutionalized white supremacy, as well as the way white supremacist ideologies operate as national and global systems of oppression.

And here we are in the 21st century where Islamophobia (also stemming from racism because the religion of Islam gets racialized) is on the rise; where people calling themselves “Christian” fear those who are darker skinned; where members of the KKK and anti-immigration movements behave as if Jesus was an intolerant White American racist who only spoke English despite being born in the Middle East! It is astonishing how so-called “Christians” like Ann Coulter call Muslims “rag-heads” when in actuality, Jesus himself would fit the profile of a “rag-head,” too. As would Moses, Joseph, Abraham, and the rest of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). As William Rivers Pitt writes:

The ugly truth which never even occurs to most Americans is that Jesus looked a lot more like an Iraqi, like an Afghani, like a Palestinian, like an Arab, than any of the paintings which grace the walls of American churches from sea to shining sea. This was an uncomfortable fact before September 11. After the attack, it became almost a moral imperative to put as much distance between Americans and people from the Middle East as possible. Now, to suggest that Jesus shared a genealogical heritage and physical similarity to the people sitting in dog cages down in Guantanamo is to dance along the edge of treason.

When refusing to affirm Jesus as a Palestinian Jew who spoke Aramaic — a Semitic language that is ancestral to Arabic and Hebrew — the West will continue to view Islam as a “foreign religion.” Hate crimes and discriminatory acts against Muslims, Arabs, and others who are perceived to be Muslim will persist.  They will still be treated as “cultural outsiders” and “threats” to the West.  Interesting enough, Christianity and Judaism are never considered “foreign religions,” despite having Middle Eastern origins, like Islam.  As Douglas-Klotz insists, affirming Jesus as a native Middle Eastern person “enables Christians to understand that the mind and message” of Jesus arises from “the same earth as have the traditions of their Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers.”

Jesus would not prefer one race or group of people over another.  I believe he would condemn today’s demonization and dehumanization of the Palestinian people, as well as the misrepresentations of him that fuel white supremacy. As a Muslim, I believe Jesus was a Prophet of God, and if I were to have any say about the Christmas spirit, it would be based on Jesus’ character: humility, compassion, and Love. A Love in which all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, culture, religion, gender, and sexual orientation are respected and appreciated.

And in that spirit, I wish you all a merry Christmas. Alaha Natarak (Aramaic: God be with you).

74 thoughts on “Jesus was a Palestinian and Why it Matters

  1. Great post! I remember the first time I saw a dark-skinned black haired Virgin Mary (in Spain). I was totally shocked and even thought it disrespectful or part of some sect or a representation of the “Black Virgin” but that lasted about a minute until I reminded myself of exactly what Mary’s origins were: Semitic, Jewish, Palestinian.

    I once had a discussion with a French woman, Marie, about the origins of names. She thought hers was from the Latin, Maria, for the Virgin Mary. She was not pleased when I insisted it was from the Hebrew Mara for bitter. My insistence was strictly linguistically motivated, but it meant more to her than that. I finally told her to check any reliable dictionary, or one of etymologies. Her Moroccan husband who was trying to defend her nonsense was also displeased because of the meaning of the name in Hebrew. Somehow neither could connect the historical facts, even those in the Bible, with their preferred reality.

    That is what you are addressing as well, the disconnect between fact and preferred reality even among those who actually do know better.

    • Thanks for your insight, Chiara! I always learn something new when you comment :) In some cases, preferring your own reality over facts can be quite manipulative and even dangerous. I saw another White Jesus representation on a faith-based magazine the other day!

      • I agree, preferring one’s own reality over facts is dangerous, especially since those who do it “best” don’t realize or don’t care they are doing it, and often try to impose it on others.

  2. This was really great, J-Heezy. I was really expecting it to generate a bunch of fronthing-at-the-mouth commentary. I guess the crazies are on vacation? :D

  3. PS I did a series of posts on my new blog, Chez Chiara, http://www.chezchiara.com, on interfaith and cross cultural Christmases. I hope you both, and other readers will visit and comment:

    http://www.chezchiara.com/2009/12/cross-cultural-christmases-saudi-arab.html

    http://www.chezchiara.com/2009/12/cross-cultural-christmases-saudi-arab_26.html

    http://www.chezchiara.com/2009/12/cross-cultural-christmases-saudi-muslim.html

    Christmastide is still going on until Jan 5-6 so you’ve got time to get in your comments during the Christmas season (to Feb 2 for some) LOL :)

  4. It is so sad to see that three religions of the same root find members who have so much hatred for each other as to skew the facts as shown here. As much as Jesus’ colour should not matter, the fact that he is innaccurately protrayed as a white man much be called up on. It is a shame that (some of!) the Christians that respect Jesus so highly cannot respect the people that he was a part of and chose to ignore that part of him. I believe part of it is in ignorance and misunderstanding, there are many white Jews today and people often cannot comprehend the idea that I am a Jew of middle eastern..’Arab’..origin. Many people do not realise that the Jews of the time of Jesus were the same colour as any of the native people of the former Palestine! In some cases it is merely a lack of knowledge and I would like to hope that this is the problem in most cases rather than the dismissal of Jesus’ background purely on an Islamaphobic or ethnic basis.

  5. Pingback: Seventh Annual Brass Crescent Awards « Muslim Reverie
  6. Pingback: Jesus was a Palestinian! « Darvish
    • Thank you! Glad to hear you found it worth sharing! I know you commented on this before, but I just updated this post and added some more research. I hope you get a chance to read it. :)

  7. Jehanzeb, this was a very thoughtful piece. I always knew Jesus was dark skin but I had not made the connection to Palestinian. Thanks for this great post!

  8. My advice to you, as muslims, would be to follow the commands of the prophet Jesus (pbuh):

    “love your enemies” and
    “turn the other cheek”

    This approach will work wonders for the relationship between the muslims and the jews.

    • Dave,

      There are several problematic things about your message. First, I have to address the condescension, which may or may not be deliberate. I think if we’re interested in being allies for each other (especially for oppressed groups), we need to engage in a respectful conversation and learn about the multiple factors that contribute to political tensions and wars in the world. It seems like you’re implying your beliefs are superior and that Islam doesn’t have a spiritual foundation that can bring social justice and peace.

      The conflict in Israel-Palestine (which is what I think you’re referring to) is not a religious one, but rather a political one. It must also be understand that there is a great power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel is funded immensely by the US, whereas the Palestinians are occupied and victimized by Israeli military oppression.

      When we frame the conflict as “Muslims versus Jews,” we’re marginalizing and ignoring the large (and growing) number of Jewish and non-Muslim activists for Palestine. To eradicate oppression, we need to challenge the dominant narratives in mainstream media that perpetuates lies about Muslims and Jews.

      • I fully agree with your points, Jehanzeb. I would also add that Jews, like Christians, are worshippers of the same God as Muslims, and that there is a long history of Muslim tolerance and protection over them during the days of the Islamic empire, but even during the second world war. It was not perfect – Muslims are human and have been subject to the same strengths and frailties as people of other faiths. The religion, however, is unequivocal about this.

        It saddens me that the struggle over Palestine has been increasingly painted as Jew versus Muslim, when in fact it is purely a colonial and racist project. Palestinian people and our leadership include many Christians – they are no less Palestinian for being so. And when I was in Gaza last year, some of the most active people in the community were the Christians. Their religion mattered not a jot – my visits to the Gaza city YMCA in the evenings to see the gathered families there of all faiths demonstrated that in abundance.

        Finally, the other concern I have with Dave’s points is that if he were to go to Palestine (assuming like you, Jehanzeb, that this is his reference point), he would see a huge amount of non-violent resistance by the Muslim and Christian Palestinians, which is met by extreme violence (including killing) by Israel’s soldiers. So condescension aside (and it is an incredible patronising comment), the reality is that peaceful resistance in Palestine is under continual brutal attack by Israel.

  9. I don’t find “Jesus was white” to be any different than “Jesus was Muslim.” Both are attempts to appropriate the figure of Jesus for an imperialistic, supremacist ideology.

    • The dominant image of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the west is the white European Jesus. White depictions of him in churches, white paintings of him found in illustrated biographies, white actors playing him in movies, television specials, etc. Even though Muslims believe Jesus was Muslim (i.e. someone who submits to God), it is not what is marketed in western mainstream society – it is not the standard, not the norm. Also, this post was not about Jesus being Muslim; it’s about Jesus being a Palestinian (and I’m sure you know there are Palestinian Christians, right?).

  10. This is the 1st time on your blog.
    I saw the link on Organica’s blog and I thought I’d take a look and now I’m hooked :)
    Love your take on things and it warms my heart that there are people like in the world.
    I will vote for you and in sha Allah I will share this article with my friends on FB!

  11. Great article. It is very challenging without coming across as a rant. I really enjoy reading anything that expands my understanding of who Jesus is and why he is important. I think that we Christians have a very long way to go in our imitation of our Lord. Thank you for another sign post on the road.

    BTW I have a few colleagues in ministry who are Palestinian Christians.

  12. Great article, I’ve been telling my friends that Jesus is a Palestinian since long time ago and it was nice to see a good article discussing the same. Also some of the Israeli presidents have a Palestinian birth certificate, simply they were born in Palestine before the occupation and before 1937 were Palestine was under the Ottoman Impire he was the 5th and the only Israeli President who born in Palestine in 1921 with Palestinian birth certificate “Yitzhak Navon” Regardless the fact that the Jewish population used to be under 5% before 1937 and most of Jews immigrants came to Palestine from Eurpe between 1942-1967 Palestine was there and I still have Palestinian coins made in 1937. Since the establishment of the Israeli entity in 1948 there were 9 Israeli Presidents and 9 prime ministers in which only one is born in Palestine and the rest came from Poland, Palarusia, ..etc
    the question is who are the owners of the land?

  13. Pingback: Jezus był Palestyńczykiem i dlaczego to ważne « Wolna Palestyna
  14. Hey thanks for the information, I am an American raised Christian and I work at a Syrian restaurant. My boss always tells me that Christianity, Islam and Judaism are the same religion, I definately believe this. Im sure the Illuminati, knights of templar or/and the freemasons stole sacred religious texts so the people would be divided amongst themselves…I like your blog, checkout my post “One World United Under the Gods”, add me to your blogroll if you like it! Happy New Year!

  15. This is so well written, has such commonsensical points to make – very well done. I respect and admire the spirit of honesty, fairness and peace running through all your writings…these are the qualities that can lead to any semblance of peace between the peoples of this world…

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  17. What a lovely blog! I write myself, but I must learn to replicate the learned and nuanced style of arriving at a point from you. Well researched, well thought, persuasive and well-styled. This is my first visit to your blog. I must visit frequently.
    Keeping the prevailing conflicts between religions in mind, there is an urgent need for well meaning people from across the world to see each others point of view- if not its a certainty that we will be as extinct as the dinosaur!

  18. mA, I love this post. It’s so well-done, and is simply beautiful. I always find it helpful, too, to remind the crazies [on all sides of the religious/political spectrum] that the most often repeated word in the Qur’an (pointing to Dave) is “mercy.” Thanks for writing this.

  19. Thank you for this excellent essay ~ it’s so good that I posted it not only on my own facebook wall, but I also posted it to two others that I started more than a year ago: SUPPORT MUSLIMS IN AMERICA and also NOT IN OUR NATION (along the lines of “Not in Our Town”) to reach out to people who live in the USofA and don’t get to access much media except a very narrow focus.

    I’m also a great admirer of Tim Wise, who consults with Unitarian Universalists and our anti-oppression training work…

    Theadora Davitt-Cornyn/MDiv/SKSM2007
    Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Candidate for Community Ministry

    “When I feed the poor ~ I am called a saint… when I ask why the poor are hungry, I am called a Communist!” ~ Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara (Liberation Theologian RC priest, Brazil 1909-1990)

  20. really fascinating and well argued. wat else is more true ! both the whites n the colored have the same red blood running along their veins. v hav got the same father n mother adam n eve. that s all

  21. Great article. Thank you.

    Right now on Huffington Post’s religion section people are voting on the best Jesus Movie. The final two both have a White Jesus: Jesus Christ Superstar and the Life of Brian.

    This started me thinking about a more authentic cinematic portrayal of Jesus and so I made a list on IMDb of some actors whom I thought would give us a movie with a closer picture of the Palestinian Jesus that really was.

    Here’s a link:

    http://www.imdb.com/list/8213JE-Uh5Y/

  22. Pure unmitigated bull feces. The land was never named “Palestine” until 235 AD (205 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus). It was named “Syria-Palestina” by the Romans after they’d put down the Bar Kochba rebellion and exiled the surviving Jews. The name was changed in order to disassociate Jews from the land, in a sense, in an attempt to forever evict them from the land.

    Prior to then, the land was named “Judea”. It was the homeland of Jews who’d previously been exiled in Babylon in 587 BC. Though many stayed in Babylon, upon the decree of (I believe it was) Darius, they returned to the land, yet experienced turmoil their from the Seleucid and other empires including, when during the time of Jesus, it was under Roman occupation.

    That being the case, Jesus was a Jew, living in the land of Judea.

    I say this, not to impose any ethnic “superiority” only to set the record straight and not allow the author to get away with historical revisionism.

    It is of no advantage per se’ to the Jew who doesn’t trust Jesus for salvation,

    Nor is it any advantage to the Muslim who gives lip service to Jesus saying He was a “Prophet”. If Jesus was a Prophet, why is it that most Muslims don’t know a thing He said?

    Nor is it any advantage to the “Christian” who says he believes in Jesus publicly but, in reality, in the privacy of his heart, does not.

    Jesus IS the TZADIK… the perfect man. No one but He ever lived a perfect-sinless life.

    Muslims, I understand, seek to follow in the path of Muhammed. But Muhammed beheaded innocent Jews at Quraiza and other places. Even Muslims would admit that Muhammed was not Perfect,

    One of the Hebrew words for sin is “Chet” It means to “miss the mark”.

    If you’re aiming at the wrong target, I guarantee you’ll miss the mark every time.

    Wouldn’t it be wise to aim at the true target? To follow the true Tzadik… righteous man… Jesus?

    I guarantee that the problems with our world are entirely because people do not give Jesus the pre-eminence that He deserves, whether people be Muslim, Jew, “Christian” or, as some like to say, “infidel”.

    • Um, I’m not going to spend too much time responding to someone who writes “Pure unmitigated bull feces” and makes ignorant statements about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (Please read the comment policy).

      And Shia Muslims, including myself, believe Muhammad (and his family) was perfect/infallible, so that should reveal how more ignorant you are about Islam.

      Also, did you even read the post? I said Jesus (peace be upon him) was Jewish *and* Palestinian. Read it again. Maybe you missed that because you’re too absorbed in your hatred of Muslims.

      Finally, I’m not the only one arguing this about Jesus.

      Read: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya211212.htm

      And this: http://omidsafi.religionnews.com/2012/12/24/jesus-the-jew-jesus-the-palestinian/

      • I have no hatred for Muslims… just Islam as a false world view. I’m pretty confident that the Hadith themselves concede Muhammed’s imperfections. But I feel sorry for people who, if seeking righteousness before God, aim at the wrong target.

        Regards

      • You do hate Muslims. Stop trying to excuse yourself from it. Anyone reading your comment knows you’re lying.

        I feel sorry for you. You have so much hatred for an entire group of people and you must feel so miserable that you can’t exterminate us. You must not have Muslim friends.

        That is sad. I hope you find the ability to love some day.

        Best wishes to you.

      • Gerald,

        LOL, then why did you bother writing?

        I have looked up your Islamophobic and anti-Arab/Muslim writings. You are not welcome here. Why would I waste my time writing to someone who hates me because of my faith?

        And why do you keep spamming on my blog? It’s creepy.

  23. My work has been widely-published in Pakistan Today, Muslim World Today, all over the Kurdish media, in Ahwazi Arab publications in Iran, in North African Amazigh “Berber” publications; the Forword to my book–in at least 15 major universities so far–was written by a key figure in the Syrian Democaric Coalition and major jacket comments written by an Amazigh publisher. All of those are Muslim sources and individuals. So much for me being “Islamophobic”…What I am against are those too many Muslims who like to place non-Muslim heads on poles in the name of their faith. You simply want folks to agree with your own self-centered world view. Now, you initiated the communication with me via e-mails I received from you. Take me off of your Jihadi list. We have nothing to talk about. All you and your kind want is for “dhimmis” like me to roll over, kiss your derrieres, or play/or be dead. That won’t happen. So, again remove me from your e-list.

    • You wrote: “Now, you initiated the communication with me via e-mails I received from you.”

      LOL, what are you saying?? I have NEVER e-mailed you. I don’t even know you! I don’t place ANYONE on an “e-list.” You must have subscribed to this post, so unsubscribing is something you need to do on your end. And it’s not about “agreeing or disagreeing” – it’s about how your work is anti-Arab and Islamophobic. I don’t tolerate that on this blog because this is safe space. Read the comment policy (it seems that you cannot even show someone respect that you just keep harassing them on their blog – you’re the one who comes off as creepy here).

      You wrote: “All you and your kind want is for “dhimmis” like me to roll over, kiss your derrieres, or play/or be dead. That won’t happen.”

      This absurd remark by you doesn’t even deserve a reply. It’s a typical racist and Islamophobic comment made by someone who writes for David Horowitz’s website. You victimize yourself by projecting Orientalist stereotypes on anyone who is Muslim. How pathetic. Shame on you.

      Stop harassing me, stop trolling, and get a life. You are banned from commenting here.

  24. Mast Olander – You are absolutely free to believe what you want… no matter how misguided it may be.

    God Loves you and sent the Messiah, Y’shua to die for you. He was the only perfect man who ever lived.

    But you’re free, as I said, to believe whatever you want.

    Blessings

    • Thank you for that lovely intolerant preaching! So kind and compassionate of you. I shall pray that God removes the anti-Muslim/Islam hatred from your heart and helps you understand the true meaning of loving your brothers and sisters in humanity. I have Christians friends too and they do not insult my faith or look down upon me as a “lost sheep” because they respect Islam and me as a person.

      I hope you make some Muslim friends in life so that you can be totally awestruck by how ignorant your views of us are.

      Salaam (it means peace). :)

      p.s. I also hope that you learn how to spell people’s names. “Olander”???

  25. I am Eastern Orthodox. We are celebrating the Great Lent and I was blogging about the way that the religion I was raised with never mentioned the modern locations of the cities it mentioned. I was writing how no one ever talked about Jesus as a Palestinian. I googled “Jesus is Palestinian” and I found your post. Thanks for talking about this in depth. I’m going to link to this right away.

  26. Pingback: Jesus was a Palestinian | Darvish
  27. Jesus was an Aramaic-speaking Galilean. By faith identity, Jesus was a Jew – a follower of the faith of Judah, his father Isaac, and his father Abraham (AS). I say this as a Muslim. We call him Muslim because we know that Islam simply means “submission,” and that he believed in what we believe in, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a Jew. Why this is so complicated, and why we have to go into identity feuds so as to back other feuds is beyond me. There is nothing wrong with Jesus not being a Palestinian, something he never called himself, an Israeli, something he never called himself, or with him being a Jew or Israelite, a faith and grouping respectively that would have been the most familiar to him.

    • Let me add a third category that I briefly mentioned above, his regional identity, which was that of Galilee. So to be completely fair, non-biased, and factual, Jesus was an Israelite Galilean Jew.

      • Do you realize the offensive implications you’re making when you say “to be completely fair, non-biased, and factual”? So, all the research and citations I’ve made in this post is… what, according to you? “Biased, unfair,” and “non-factual”? By stating Jesus was a Palestinian, I’m being “biased,” but your statement is “non-biased” because…? I mean, can you get any more arrogant and condescending?

    • …And what’s wrong with saying Jesus was a Palestinian? Did you miss the reference I made to Herodotus? The first known reference to Palestine dates back as early as 5th century BC.

      This is not about an “identity feud” – it’s about how white depictions of Jesus have been used to perpetuate white supremacy, colonialism, and imperialism.

      • I’m not sure how you are linking Jesus’ Jewish identity to depictions of Jesus as European? Jews are not of European origin. Depictions of Jesus as Jewish do not perpetuate white supremacy and colonialism.

        Herodotus was a Greek. His name for the land has no bearing on what the people who lived there called themselves. At the time he wrote, the land he referred to was more commonly known as the Persian province of Yehud.

      • Are depictions of Jesus as a non-white Jewish man the dominant depiction of him in the west? You seem to be missing the point. Jesus was a Palestinian Jew – that’s what I’m saying here.

  28. Amazing!!! Have you read or seen the picture of Jesus that George illustrated in the book I published? Well, he always tends to draw a mexican Jesus.

  29. Great post. Great image too. … I could be wrong, but i don’t think Aramaic was ‘ancestral’ to Hebrew and Arabic, just that it is/was in the same Semitic family as both, and served as the region’s lingua franca for a period prior to the Arabic’s rise to linguistic dominance.

  30. Please be reminded that Jesus is God incarnate, not just a prophet.Losing sight of that prevents one from receiving the free gift of salvation .Thank God for his Grace (that is we receive something which we never deserved )& his Mercy (we did not receive what we deserved,which is damnation & hell .It is quite clear that Jesus fulfilled His mission on earth (the Cross Experience).He paid the price fully for all or sins.He arose from the dead & is alive.No one has ever done that .He is God & there is none like Him .Accept the free gift of salvation which is waiting for you

      • I was not imposing beliefs ,I was just stating why Jesus came.You have a choice to believe or not to believe.However, u will have to give an account one day for what you did with Jesus, and No one will have an excuse if they heard the good news & chose to reject it.

      • Jesus (peace be upon him) taught love and respect. Learn how to respect other people’s beliefs. Worry about yourself instead of trying to convert people – it exposes your own insecurities.

  31. Great blog. Thanks for posting. I would note that most scholars in academia put Jesus’ birthplace in the Galilee region, not in Bethlehem, despite religious traditions.

  32. Jesus was a Jew. From the line of David. He spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. He followed all the Jewish laws in participated in all the Jewish festivals. He was a Nazarene from Nazareth born in Bethlehem. Jesus was not an arab and most definitely was not a Palestinian. God Bless.

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