Jesus a Palestinian? Linda Sarsour starts Twitter war over Christ’s nationality
The controversial Palestinian-American women’s activist kicked off a social media storm this weekend with a tweet stating that “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth and is described in the Quran as being brown copper skinned with wooly hair.”
Before long, the tweet racked up thousands of replies, many condemning the remark as ignorant or worse.
Some argued Sarsour was “erasing Jesus’ Jewish identity,” and revising history“for her own politicized aims,” while others insisted the region had a different name in the period Jesus was born, therefore he would not be properly considered Palestinian.
“Jesus was Judean,” one user replied. “He may have been from the land that is considered Palestine, but he wasn’t Palestinian because ‘Palestine’ wasn’t the name of the land at that time.”
Yair Netanyahu, the son of the Israeli prime minister, also weighed in to dispute Sarsour’s designation, but was far less polite in his rebuttal.
“Are you that stupid? On the cross above Jesus’ head was the sign ‘INRI’ – ‘Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm,’ which means in Latin – Jesus of Nazareth king of the Jews!” he wrote. “The Bible says that Jesus was born and raised in Judea!”
Sarsour responded to the naysayers by pointing out that Palestinian is a nationality, not a religion, “so when someone says Jesus was born in modern day Palestine that doesn’t negate that he was a Jew.”
She later revised Christ’s birthplace from Nazareth to the city of Bethlehem, which she said is today “under a brutal military occupation,” and added “Jesus was Jewish. Jesus was Semitic. Jesus was not white, blonde like the images we see today. He was dark.”
Still, the critics were unrelenting.
“It’s wild how one person can be consistently wrong about everything,” one commenter said, while another accused the activist of attempting to “hijack and remake Jesus,” adding that was “the first priority of nearly every cult.”
In the end, Sarsour decided perhaps the debate was more trouble than it was worth, abruptly declaring an end to the “Jesus talk.”
Sarsour was a main organizer of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington DC and a former director of the Arab American Association of New York, but is a controversial figure among some conservatives, who say she has ties to groups that preach anti-Semitism and support for Sharia Law.
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