The controversial religious leader Jeremiah Wright compared Native Americans to Palestinians at the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March on the National Mall on Saturday, going so far as to assert that “Jesus was a Palestinian."
Wright, who once served as pastor to President Obama, was one the speakers in Washington, D.C., for an event called “Justice or Else” that sought to channel the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement. Wright placed the event in historical context.
“The same issue is being fought today and has been fought since 1948, and historians are carried back to the 19th century ... when the original people, the Palestinians — and please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian — the Palestinian people had the Europeans come and take their country,” Wright said.
He said African-Americans in the United States have much in common with Palestinians in Israel.
“The youth in Ferguson and the youth in Palestine have united together to remind us that the dots need to be connected,” Wright said. “And what Dr. King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, has implications for us as we stand beside our Palestinian brothers and sisters, who have been done one of the most egregious injustices in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
Wright, who was the reverend of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which the president attended intermittently from 1988 to 2008, also accused Israel of being an apartheid state.
“As we sit here, there is an apartheid wall being built twice the size of the Berlin Wall in height, keeping Palestinians off of illegally occupied territories, where the Europeans have claimed that land as their own,” Wright said.
“Palestinians are saying ‘Palestinian lives matter.’ We stand with you, we support you, we say God bless you,” he concluded.
Obama, then a senator, left Trinity United in 2008, denouncing anti-American sermons made by Wright that had surfaced online.