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Hijacking Jesus By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Monday, July 10, 2006


The cartoon in the July 6 edition of Al Quds depicts a Palestinian and an Iraqi being crucified on the same cross. This expresses a common Palestinian motif, found in both text and cartoons, that depicts Palestinians as Jesus, and Jesus as a Palestinian. [See below for more cartoons of Palestinians on cross like Jesus.]

“Brother from Iraq, Relative from Palestine”

[Al Quds, July 6, 2006]

Palestinian historical revisionism
Historical revision is a backbone of Palestinian political and academic behavior, as the leaders attempt to create a separate "Palestinian Arab" history and identity for themselves, distinct from the general Arab and Islamic history. "Palestinian" Arabs are a very recent creation, and did not exist before the advent of PLO terror in 1965. Note, for example, that under UN resolution 194 in 1948, refugees were not called "Palestinian Refugees," relating to a national identity, but were called "Palestine Refugees," referring to geography - from where they came.

Jesus was Palestinian, the Palestinians are Jesus
One aspect of this attempt to create a Palestinian history is to present Jesus, who according to Christian scriptures was a Jew (Judean) living in the land of Judea-Israel, as a Palestinian. (In fact the name was changed to Palestine 136 years after Jesus' s death as part of Rome's plan to cut the Jews' ties to their Land of Israel.)

Jesus has even been presented by Palestinians as the "the first Palestinian Shahid – Martyr for Allah," [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 17, 2005] applying to Jesus Islamic theology that evolved centuries later. On a culture program on Palestinian TV, a Palestinian artist depicted Israeli soldiers arresting Jesus, and explains that Jesus symbolizes the Palestinians.

The following are some of these examples identifying Jesus as a Palestinian:

  1. “We must not forget that (Jesus) Messiah, may peace be upon him, is Palestinian, the son the Mary the Palestinian, who is sanctified by hundreds of millions of believers in this world.”
    [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, November 18, 2005]
  2. "It was quite natural that the Palestinians rose to save their sanctuaries [in Nazareth] without anyone thinking there is a difference between a Christian and a Muslim… since in the Palestinian situation, the lord Messiah [Jesus] and his mother [Mary] are both Galileans and Palestinians …"
    [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 9, 2006]
  3. “The Palestinian Galilee village of Kfar Kana takes pride in the fact that in [the village] the Palestinian Messiah succeeded to turn water into wine.”
    [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 14, 2004]

    Jesus is likewise defined as a Shahid (Martyr for Allah):
  4. “…And a child from the De’haisha refugeecamp will shout: “Yes, we have won, just as the prophets and [Jesus’] Apostles won,” and the shahids will cry, ‘We shook the palm trees alongside Lady Earth and the lady of the people, the Virgin Mary, and with her son the first Palestinian Shahid.”
    [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 17, 2005]

    The flip side of turning Jesus into the Palestinians is the turning of Palestinians into Jesus.
  5. “Muhammad [Al Dura, child who was killed by undetermined gunfire] ... a tiny sleeping Jesus...”
    [Al-Quds, May 25, 2001]
  6. During a culture program, a Palestinian artist depicts Israeli soldiers arresting Jesus, and explains that Jesus symbolizes the Palestinians.

    Pic from web and link from web

    Artist: "Our struggle today against the other side is an eternal one. It can be said that it started 2,000 years ago and continues until today. I demonstrate this through the figure of Jesus… The Israeli soldiers are wearing army uniforms while Jesus has nothing except for the truth. When they searched him at the entrance of Jerusalem, they found a stone, a piece of bread and fish and he was cuffed. This is the Palestinian from the beginning of the struggle until the end."
    [PA TV, July 21, 2000]

Misappropriating Jesus into Palestinian Islamic tradition allows the image of the Crucifixion to become a Palestinian symbol, which they then use to portray themselves and other Muslims as victims of Israel.


The following are additional examples of this visual motif:

1. Palestine is Jesus


[PA Website]


[Text on woman: "Palestine"
Al Hayat Al Jadida supplement-Intifada, Dec. 11, 2000]


[Al Hayat Al Jadida, April 15, 2001]

2. Israeli and U.S. shells targeting Palestinians representedby the cross


[PA daily supplement, Dec 14 2000]

3. Another attempt at defining Palestinians as the modern dayJesus. Palestinians killed by Israel is called "repeating history" of Crucifixion.


[Al Hayat Al Jadida, May 9 2001]
Pope: Praying for Mid-East peace
Sharon: “What do you think about repeating history?”


Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.


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