Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-CortezReuters

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) caused outrage on Sunday when she published a post on Instagram in which she spread the false claim that Jesus was Palestinian and compared the modern State of Israel to the Roman government which ruled the Jewish homeland two thousand years ago.

“In the story of Christmas, Christ was born in modern-day Palestine under the threat of a government engaged in a massacre of innocents," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

She continued: “He was part of a targeted population being indiscriminately killed to protect an unjust leader’s power. Mary and Joseph, displaced by violence and forced to flee, became refugees in Egypt with a newborn waiting to one day return home."

“Thousands of years later, right-wing forces are violently occupying Bethlehem as similar stories unfold for today’s Palestinians, so much so that the Christian community in Bethlehem has canceled this year’s Christmas Eve celebrations out of both [fear for their] safety and respect.

“And yet, also today, holy children are still being born in a place of unspeakable violence — for every child born, of any identity and from any place, is sacred. Especially the children of Gaza,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “This high Christian holiday is about honoring the precious sanctity of a family that, if the story were to unfold today, would be Jewish Palestinians.”

The post was criticized by Forward reporter Jacob Kornbluh, who noted on X that Ocasio-Cortez made no mention of the Hamas massacre of October 7 or its victims.

Others pointed out that no Jews live in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas because both organizations seek a state which is completely free of Jewish residents.

Every year around the holidays, anti-Israel activists repeat the claim that Jesus, the central figure in the Christian religion, was Palestinian and that the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs is comparable to his suffering during Roman times.

These ahistorical claims ignore the fact that Jesus was born to Jewish parents and considered himself a Jew, and that he died about a century before the Roman Empire imposed the same Syria Palestina on the land following the Bar Kochba Revolt in an effort to destroy the Jewish connection to their homeland.