• Nice Try, but Jesus Really Was Jewish, Not a Palestinian

    Outspoken Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour stirred the twitter pot over the weekend. How’d she do that?

    Patrick Goodenough reports for CNS News:

    Controversial Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour ignited a kerfuffle on Twitter over the weekend by tweeting that Jesus was “a Palestinian.”

    Yep, that’ll get things churning, won’t it?

    The “Jesus was a Palestinian” claim is one frequently made by supporters of the Palestinian cause, for political purposes.

    It certainly is more convenient for certain particularly anti-Semitic strains of Islam than the salient fact that the Man from Galilee really was Jewish.

    The dust-up was kicked off last Friday night.

    “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth and is described in the Quran as being brown copper skinned with wooly hair, [she said].”

    Reactions ranged generally from angry to incredulous to sarcastic, as multiple users pointed to historical and biblical references to Jesus as Jewish.

    A number pointed out that the Romans changed the name of the province of Judea to Palestine (specifically, Syria Palaestina) to punish the Jews after a failed Jewish rebellion, more than 130 years after Jesus was born.

    “Jesus was a Jew from Judea … in fact, Jew means someone from Judea …,” tweeted Democratic Majority for Israel, a pro-Israel Democratic group in the U.S.

    Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli Prime Minister:

    On the cross above Jesus’ head was the sign “INRI” – … in Latin – Jesus of Nazareth king of the Jews! The Bible say[s] that Jesus was born and raised in Judea!”

    The American Jewish Committee hopped into the fray with this pungent retort:

    Mentions of Judea in the New Testament: 48 Mentions of Palestine in the New Testament: 0. Which makes sense, because the name “Palestine” was only applied to the region by the Romans in 135 CE. Try cracking a history book, Linda. It’ll blow your mind.

    Sarsour, co-founder of the controversial “Women’s March” and unapologetic Louis-Farrakhan supporter, wasn’t backing down.

    Jesus was born in Bethlehem which is in Palestine. Move on. … It’s currently militarily occupied by Israel and home to a predominately beautiful Palestinian Christian community. …Multiple truths can co-exist. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This is modern day Palestine.

    Therefore, Jesus, the Jewish teacher of two centuries past was a “Palestinian”? Help me, here, Ms. Sarsour: does your formula mean that Britain’s American colonists were actually citizens of the United States of America? After all, that’s what that pre-Revolution real estate, once under King George III, is now called.

    Sarsour’s Jesus = Palestinian cogitations aren’t exactly groundbreaking, either.

    The late PLO leader Yasser Arafat went so far as to describe Jesus – whom Christians believe was and is God – as “the first Palestinian fedayeen,” using an Arabic term for a militant fighter.

    [S]everal years ago Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, said, “In Bethlehem, more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born; a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world. As we Palestinians strive for our freedom two millennia later, we do our best to follow his example.”

    Jesus’ example? You mean, for instance, rejecting race hatred, striving for peace with one’s neighbor, serving others – even your enemies! – more than yourself? That example?

    Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said … repeated attempts to depict Jesus as a “Palestinian” … serves a number of purposes.

    .. [I]t serves “to create a new narrative that in one sentence suddenly bestows a Palestinian presence in the Holy Land 2,000 years. It simultaneously denies Jewish and Christian history.”

    “As people like Sarsour see Palestinians as perpetual victims, coopting the imagery of Jesus’ suffering as somehow Palestinians’, serves to reinforce their narrative.”

    “Abbas, Arafat, Sarsour serially deny the continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for 3,500 years,” he said. “To admit it would legitimize the presence of Jewish neighbors and a Jewish state.”

    Palestinian Media Watch provides a bevy of other examples of prominent Palestinian figures propounding this historically baseless assertion:

    –“The Christians know that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian [!!]. He really was from Jerusalem, and his resurrection was from Jerusalem.”

    – Abbas Zaki, Fatah Central Committee member.

    –“Jesus is a Palestinian; the self-sacrificing Yasser Arafat is a Palestinian; Mahmoud Abbas, the messenger of peace on earth, is a Palestinian. How great is this nation of the holy Trinity!”

    –Official P.A. paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, op-ed

    –“For Christmas, the birthday of Jesus the first Palestinian and the first Martyr …”

    – Tawfiq Tirawi Fatah Central Committee member

    –“We can be proud, oh son of Mary, that you are the first Palestinian who redeemed mankind.” –

    Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Christmas Day 2012 editorial

    For the record, Bethlehem’s importance to Jews hardly stands or falls on the birth of Jesus there. Recall, the biblical Patriarch Jacob’s wife Rachel is buried there. The town’s namesake – “David” – was Israel’s second and arguably most famous King; thus, the “City of David”.

    Bear in mind, the origins of modern-day “Palestine” have long been mired in inaccurate historical claims, misrepresented by those who altogether reject the concept of an Israeli homeland. So, since this Jesus-Was-a-Palestinian conceit is of a piece with an anti-Israel pattern, the conscientious observer should anticipate other historically ignorant or downright dishonest pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel concoctions. If one is prepared for the appearance of untruths, it becomes noticeably easier to refute them whenever they rear their agenda-driven heads – which they shall; as long as people despise the State of Israel and root for her downfall.

    Image: Creative Commons; CC by 2.0; Adapted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/festoffaiths/27581875140

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