It has become increasingly common around Christmas to find Palestinian Muslims, and in particular Palestinian Authority officials, celebrating Jesus. They question is, why?
“Christmas is the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ, the very first Palestinian and shahid (martyr),” Tawfik Tirawi wrote on Facebook on Christmas Eve. Tirawi is on the central committee of the ruling Fatah faction. Laila Ghannam, the Governor of Ramallah, explained that all Palestinians celebrate Christmas because they are proud that Jesus was a Palestinian. “If anyone was worthy of winning the Nobel Peace Prize year after year, then it would have been the Palestinian Jesus, the son of Mary, who was born in Bethlehem,” Fatah member Muwaffak Matar wrote, adding that “Jesus too was a victim.” The quote was published by the regime-backed Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat-Al-Jadida in their Christmas edition.
For Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Christmas is a national religious festival. “The Palestinian leadership attend the Christmas Mass all together,” he said on Palestinian radio. “This is our duty as it is a festival of our nation.”...
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