State of Israel says Jesus 'was Jewish and born in Judea' in Christmas Day tweet

Video aims to debunk 'Palestinian Jesus' trend


The State of Israel's official X account shared a video on Christmas Day that refuted a popular trend on TikTok, which purports Jesus of Nazareth to be Palestinian.

The X post published just after 9 a.m. on Dec. 25 included a video with a caption that read, “PSA:  just because someone says something on TikTok, doesn’t make it true. #Christmas2023.”

In the 30-second animated video, a brown-haired, red sash-wearing Jesus reacts to a narrator who states, “Jesus was a Palestinian!”

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Jesus replies, “Uh, what’s a Palestinian? I was Jewish and born in Judea.”

The narrator then adds, “But people on TikTok say that you were Muslim,” in an apparent reference to videos on the short-form social media platform.

In response, Jesus says, “That doesn’t even make sense. Islam didn’t exist until about 600 years after my time.”

The narrator then asks, “But how can people on TikTok be wrong?” prompting Jesus to give the traditional Yiddish response of “Oy, vey!”

It’s not clear what specifically prompted the video, which was shared on Israel’s official government X account managed by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs digital team.

The trend of labeling Jesus as a Palestinian goes back decades and has permeated even into various Christian denominations. 

Just this week, a Catholic priest called Jesus a “Palestinian Jew” during a segment on CNN. 

When asked to address the “pain and suffering” this Christmas season, Father Edward Beck, a Catholic priest in New York, said, “What I'm so struck by is that the story of Christmas is about a Palestinian Jew. How often do you find those words put together? A Palestinian Jew born into a time when his country was occupied, right? 

“They can't find a place for [Jesus’ mother, Mary] to even give birth. They're homeless. They eventually have to flee as refugees into Egypt, no less. I mean, you can't make up the parallels to our current world situation right now."

Earlier this week, CP op-ed contributor Michael Brown said the historical argument for a “Palestinian” Jesus is deliberately misleading.

“How threatening it is to say that Yeshua was a Judean Jew, born in Bethlehem, the ancient city of David, called “rabbi” (not “reverend” or “imam”) by His followers,” wrote Brown. 

“This does not mean that Jesus would agree with every policy of Israel today or of every tenet of Judaism. He certainly would not. … But the references to Him as a Palestinian refugee born in occupied territory, not to mention Him being compared to an Islamic jihadist ‘martyr,’ are meant to mislead in the most insidious way.”

Others have argued that because the name “Palestine” wasn’t applied to the land of Israel until at least 135 AD — over a century after Jesus’ death and resurrection — using that descriptor for the Messiah simply isn’t accurate.

“That’s because the word “Palestinian” today speaks of non-Israelites, of non-Jews,” wrote Brown in a 2019 op-ed piece. “It speaks of a people who claim that the land of Israel belongs to them, not to the Jewish people. And it speaks primarily of Muslims.

That’s what comes to mind when someone says, ‘Jesus was a Palestinian.’ And that’s why Palestinian activists have tried to recast Jesus in their own image.”

Earlier this week, evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, criticized Christianity Today after the magazine his father founded published an article claiming that Jesus Christ was Asian.

In a Dec. 18 article by art curator Victoria Emily Jones titled "How Asian Artists Picture Jesus’ Birth From 1240 to Today," CT showcased how Jesus has been depicted by various Asian cultures, though Jones' assertion that Jesus was Asian because he was technically born on the continent prompted pushback from Graham and others on social media.

"Jesus was born in Asia. He was Asian," Jones wrote in a quote that CT used to promote the article on X on Christmas Eve. "Yet the preponderance of Christian art that shows him at home in Europe has meant that he is embedded deeply in the popular imagination as Western."

Jones wrote that the nine artists showcased in the article "bring [Jesus] back to Asia — but not to ancient Israel," and "make the birth a local event, translating the story into their own cultural contexts."

In his social media post Graham responded: "We don’t have to wonder or speculate about this — the Bible gives us very specific details about Jesus’ earthly lineage and where He was born and grew up. We know that Jesus was Jewish. However, if you don’t believe the Bible or accept it as the Word of God, then everything is in question."

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post and the author of BACKWARDS DAD: a children's book for grownups. He can be reached at:

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