* This is a slight variation on the same story we published last year, as the Palestinian Arabs' trying to appropriate Jesus as a "Palestinian" hero is a recurring holiday theme in the Holy Land.
More than a billion Christians around the world are about to celebrate Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus, the promised Messiah. There is one thing the Palestinian Arabs hope you all remember during those celebrations - that Jesus was, in fact, a Palestinian (Arab).
It is nothing new for the Palestinians to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian. The Palestinian leadership gets in on the action all the time. Yasser Arafat used to openly declare as much as he kicked off Christmas from Bethlehem every year.
Arafat is gone, and current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is a bit more subtle, but the media organs under his control are still being used to perpetuate this lie. Oh, and so is Abbas' Western-backed, so-called "moderate" prime minister, Salam Fayyad.
"Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate the Palestinian identity of Jesus Christ," declared Fayyad as he flipped the switch lighting a 50-foot Christmas tree in Bethlehem's Manger Square last week.
The lie has fully permeated Arab society in the region.
In a December 3, 2010 interview with Palestinian Authority TV, Samih Ghanadreh from Nazareth was asked about his new book "Christianity and its Connection to Islam."
Ghanadreh told the host that he remembers fondly how Arafat would label Jesus as "the first Palestinian Shahid (martyr)," to which the host matter-of-factly responded, "Jesus was a Palestinian; no one denies that."
Palestinian Media Watch, which provided translation of the above interview, reported that earlier in 2010, the Communications and Education Authority of the ruling Palestinian faction Fatah issued this statement on its official website:
"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…"
A year earlier, Abbas' appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, preached on PA TV that "Jesus was born in this land; he took his first steps in this land and spread his teachings [of Islam] in this land. He and his mother [Mary], we may say, were Palestinians par excellence."
Among average Palestinians it is an ingrained belief that Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, was a Palestinian and even a pre-Islam Muslim. All historic or religious ties between Jesus and the Jews have been severed, just as they have severed all historic and religious ties between the Jews and this land.