A Catholic priest went on CNN at Christmas to say that Jesus was a persecuted Palestinian – and that the story of his birth has parallels with what is happening in the Middle East.
Father Edward Beck – a regular contributor – joined the hosts on Monday morning to discuss the topic of how we can keep the faith alive during the holidays, with everything going on in the world… namely the war between Israel and Hamas, with the Palestinians sit in the middle.
He said the story of Christmas was actually that of a “Palestinian Jew” – and noted how special it is to hear those two words together. Father Beck went on to say that JC was born in an occupied country, and that his mother and father (Mary/Joseph) were forced to flee to Egypt as refugees… which is technically correct, as far as the Bible is concerned.
Beck went on to say that the same kind of things are happening now in 2023 — and while he didn’t come out outright pro-Palestine… his comments were taken that way.
In fact, there’s a lot of hand-wringing going on online over the suggestion that Jesus was Palestinian… and that he might have identified more with the current Palestinian situation than with that of the Israelis. As many have noted online, Palestine didn’t even exist at the time.
Then again, neither did the State of Israel as we know it…but the one thing that cannot be denied is that JC was Jewish, for whatever that’s worth in this raging debate.
Father Beck has defended what he said in a number of back-and-forth conversations online. Again, some take his words here to imply that Jesus was more Palestinian/Arab than he was Jewish – but Beck says his words are being distorted, and his broader message of peace/unity is being overshadowed.
He has also posted articles referencing the historical use of the word “Palestinian” – and how it has apparently been used to identify Muslims, Jews and others who lived in that region thousands of years ago. In other words, the fact that Father Beck doubles down on the idea that Jesus was Palestinian…and that he is also Jewish does not necessarily contradict that.
It’s certainly a doozy of conversation… and it has sparked a fury on both sides, it seems. As Jesus himself may have said in more eloquent terms, can’t we all just get along, guys???