Tags: jesus | israel | jewish | palestinians

It's Incorrect to Suggest Jesus Was a Palestinian

It's Incorrect to Suggest Jesus Was a Palestinian
(Maryd15/Dreamstime.com)

By and Yitzchok Adlerstein
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 03:10 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Chutzpah. Until recently, the ultimate case of chutzpah used to be about the man convicted of murdering both his parents, who appeals for mercy because he is an orphan. No more. Linda Sarsour, the photogenic Palestinian-American activist and leader of the Women’s March, has taken over first place through a series of recent tweets.

She instructs Christians to revise their understanding of Jesus.

The Gospels are replete with references to Jesus’ countrymen and location. They are Jews, Israel, Judea; Jesus’ descent from King David is underscored. Sarsour, however, has a higher authority for Christians to heed: the Koran! Its reference to Jesus — written six centuries after the New Testament — speaks of his being “brown copper skinned with wooly hair.” Ergo, says Sarsour, Jesus was Palestinian. Q.E.D.

If you are having difficulty following the argument, you are not alone. She may have had one or more or several malign possibilities in mind.

  1. She is playing to an audience that would like to ignore Jesus’ Jewish identity. That’s an oldie, but goodie. For some, “false news” works — even about events that occurred two thousand years ago.
  1. By identifying Jesus as a “Palestinian,” in one lie, Sarsour extends Palestinian history 2,000 years. A broad jump for the ages! Never mind that the original Philistines — from which the word Palestine derives — were exiled from the Mediterranean coast in the year 604 BC. Hundreds of years later, “Palestine” was appropriated by the Romans to rebrand Judea as a Roman province after the failed Bar Kochba-led revolt of the Jews in 135 AD.
  1. Sarsour might have been playing the victim card: Use powerful imagery of victimhood, and thereby turn the Jews into Romans, and the Palestinians as a group on the cross. Besides the falsity of it, by perpetuating a mindset and culture of victimhood she further empowers the Palestinian Authority (PA) to teach new generations to hate the Jews. As a perpetual “victim,” the corrupt PA continues to rack up millions from foreign donors leaving it no incentive to reform and actually negotiate a peace deal with the Jewish state.
  1. Casting Jesus as a non-Jew gives her an opportunity to casually state another fiction. Speaking of Jesus’ place of birth, Sarsour writes that “Bethlehem is … home to a predominately beautiful Palestinian Christian community.”

Alas, no. Only about 12-16% of Bethlehem is Christian, and the percentage continues to dwindle. It was about 85% Christian in 1948, when Israel achieved statehood. By 1967, it was down to 46%. The percentage of Christians held steady during the years of actual Israeli control until the PA took over in ‘93. The community is so persecuted by its Muslim neighbors that church leaders, usually loath to speak out against Muslims, recently protested against the multiple attacks.

  1. Leaning into the intellectually fraught endeavor of racial determinism and identity politics, Sarsour wants to imply that Jews — especially, "occupying" Israeli Jews, must be white. According to her worldview, only people of color can hold the moral high ground of victimhood. So, for Sarsour, Jesus must have been a dark-skinned, curly haired man. Even if Jesus was a Jew, today’s white-skinned imposters of today aren’t, a popular and rabidly anti-Semitic myth states they are descendants of the non-Jewish Khazars! Too bad history and science beg to differ. A significant corpus of scientific research proves the relationship of Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, and their common antiquity. By the way Linda, in 2019, Sephardi/Mizrachi Jews — those are the ones with brown, copper skins — account for 52% of the Israeli Jewish population.

Sarsour rewrites history through the authority of the Koran.

A very different take was offered by Yankee pitching legend Mariano Rivera. On July 21, he will become the first unanimously selected player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Speaking a few days ago at a gathering in Washington D.C., the deeply committed Christian saw the Bible differently from Sarsour, who is a vigorous proponent of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that seeks to dismantle the Jewish State. Rivera said, "The Bible speaks about Israel. Everything — from New Testament, Old Testament — it's all about Israel and the relationship His people have…Israel — Jewish Israel…this country was built by Him for his people."

Amen, Mariano. Are you listening Linda? We doubt it.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization. Abraham Cooper has been a longtime activist for Jewish and human rights causes. His extensive involvement in Soviet Jewry included visiting refuseniks, helping to open Moscow’s first Jewish Cultural Center, and lecturing at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Sakharov Foundation. In 1977, he came to L.A. to help Rabbi Marvin Hier found the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and for three decades Rabbi Cooper has overseen the Wiesenthal Center’s international social action agenda including worldwide antisemitism and extremist groups, Nazi crimes, Interfaith Relations, the struggle to thwart the anti-Israel Divestment campaign, and worldwide promotion of tolerance education. Widely recognized as an international authority on issues related to digital hate and the Internet, Rabbi Cooper was listed in 2017 by Newsweek among the top most influential Rabbis in the United States. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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She instructs Christians to revise their understanding of Jesus.
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2019-10-16
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 03:10 PM
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