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My Christmas Gift to Israel
Amer Zahr
by Amer Zahr
December 27th, 2010 (5 Comments)
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For Palestinians, Christmas is very special. We’re related to Jesus. My family is from Nazareth, and I’m pretty sure they're direct descendants of some of Mary’s cousins. Wait, that means if you go back far enough, I’m a Jew. Man, that really confuses the anti-Semitic side of me. But I’m adding it to my résumé anyway. That should help me at the border next time I visit.

Actually, my dad’s side of the family came to Nazareth from Syria in the 1700s, and my mom’s side came there from Egypt about a hundred years before that. I guess the Israelis are right… we’re not really from there… Dammit.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not a Jew. See, many of the families (tribes) in Palestine, if you go back far enough, were Jewish, and later converted to Christianity or Islam. Sometimes, Jews converted to Christianity, then Islam. Pretty confusing. And while you convert to Christianity or Islam, you never stop being a Jew, because that’s genetic. Rabbis say that as long as you were born to a Jewish woman (even if she’s not a self-described Jew at the time), you’re a Jew. There’s no conversion out. So basically, all the Palestinians who were originally Jews are only now impersonating Christians and Muslims. I only needed one of those impostors to marry into my lineage, and presto: I’m a Jew.

So Israel, I’m probably a Jew. Merry Christmas!

And to my newly found brethren, I have another gift. I’m done being confused! See, as a young Palestinian kid in America, Christmas really accentuated my differences. I remember going to the mall and seeing Santa. He would ask me, “What do you want for Christmas, little boy?” And I would say, “GI Joe, a Huffy bike, and the enforcement of international law allowing the Palestinians to return to their homeland.” It turns out Santa’s not real.

But luckily, I don’t need him to be. My gift to my Jewish brethren is a new strategy for us Palestinians. It has three steps:

1. We abandon our claim to a Palestinian state.
2. We will stop all violence.
3. We will wait.

We don’t need a state. You already declared one for us sixty years ago. We’re happy, with our newly found commonalities, to be part of the one that’s already there. It seems to be working pretty well. Once we all get accurately recognized as Jews, things should be just fine. But can we change the name? “Israel” has brand recognition, but it’s not all good. You know, the massacres, occupation, and what-not. I was thinking… “Palestine.” I know that might be touchy, but it does have a certain ring to it. Now we will have to conduct thorough testing, as there are some people in Palestine who don’t have the necessarily Jewish lineage that I probably do. We need to find out who they are. But we’re not kicking them out. We did that once, and it caused major problems. After we find out who they are, they will stay, and we will marry them all to Jewish women as quickly as possible. In a generation or two, problem solved. We need to make as many as Palestinian Jews as possible. And we’re better than the ones from Russia and Ethiopia. We come with land.

Palestinians must stop all aggression. The reasoning here is clear and concise. I simply don’t believe in Jew-on-Jew violence. We need to be united.

Finally, we Palestinians will wait. Surely, there will be some people in our society who might not accept our newly found Jewishness. We can wait them out. If Jewish history has taught us anything, it’s that we are capable of waiting. Eventually, they’ll come around.

We need to make a few more changes to complete everything. Since it was Jesus’s birthday that brought about this revelation, Palestine’s Independence Day will be December 25. Until now, Palestinian Independence Day has been on April 1, and that’s just mean.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Independence Day, and Happy New Year! And when someone can explain Hanukah to me, I’ll start celebrating that too!

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* Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

Comments (5)
  1. Ibrahim Khair ... December 27th, 2010 - 14:13

    Give the Palestinians Prima-Noctis (The right of the first night, given by Edward the Longshanks to the nobles of England at that time :D) .. Great Article Amr, looking forward to new ones.

    Merry Christmas,
    Ibrahim Khair

  2. Amer well done! It’s excellent I loved it..great solutions! :) Happy Independence Day!

  3. In Israel, anything can be “Jewish,” as long as it is not Arab, which is an oversight.

  4. i totally agree, the palestinians should just give up statehood and become a part of israel, and fight for equal rights

  5. I totally agree!! Great solution, Amer!


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