18:31 GMT +320 May 2019
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    Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019

    Ilhan Omar, New York Times Lambasted for Floating Claim Jesus Was Palestinian

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    While the historicity of Jesus Christ still remains a matter of debate, many of those who believe he existed concede that he is unlikely to have looked like a white bearded male, as he is often portrayed in Western tradition. His Jewish origin, however, is disputed less often that his possible appearance.

    Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the New York Times came under fire for referencing the alleged Palestinian origin of Jesus Christ.

    The Democratic Rep., who supports the pro-Palestine BDS movement and has vocally criticised the Israeli lobby in the US, retweeted a 20 April post by American Muslim civil rights activist Omar Suleiman.

    Suleiman wrote: "I was once asked by a relative who is a Palestinian Christian why the Christian right in America largely supports their oppression. 'Don't they know we're Christian too? Do they even consider us human? Don't they know Jesus was a Palestinian?'"

    Meanwhile, a 19 April piece in the New York Times, which focused on the visualisation of Jesus in different cultures, suggested that "Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin."

    These claims provoked the ire of those who agree with the mainstream assumption that Jesus Christ, if he was a real historical figure, was Jewish.

    Specifically, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the LA-based Simon Wisental Centre, a Jewish human rights organisation, argued that it's a "grotesque insult to Jesus, born in the land of Israel and to Christianity" to say that he was a Palestinian.

    "Palestine was a name made up by Romans after they crucified thousands, destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the People of Israel from their homeland," Cooper told the Jewish Journal.

    A number of social media users have likewise recalled the Biblical account, which states that Jesus was born to a Jewish woman in the town of Bethlehem.

    "No, Ilhan Omar, Jesus was not a 'Palestinian'," wrote Michael Dickson, director of education pro-Israel organisation StandWithUs, "he was a Jew born in Israel under Roman occupation and your need to misrepresent history and misappropriate his background to further a political cause says more about you than it does about anything else."

    Conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey said: "People who call Jesus a 'Palestinian,' despite the fact that the geographical region of Palestine didn't exist until years after his death, are simply projecting modern-day intersectionality onto him in order to make their ‘wokeness' seem biblical. This is idolatry."

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    Tags:
    Jews, Ilhan Omar, Jesus Christ, Palestine, Israel, United States
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