Oct 01, 2022
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The many anti-Israel protests cropping up around the world are perpetuating lies that are frequently anti-Semitic. At one rally, the vilest trope that has been the basis for the most vicious Jew-hatred throughout history was appropriated in a bizarre manner equating Palestinians with Jesus. 

Many rallies are openly anti-Semitic, equate Israel with the Nazis, make the libelous claim that Israel is an apartheid state. But a recent rally in London took it one step further, resurrecting the vilest trope that has been the basis for the most vicious Jew-hatred throughout history, in a bizarre manner, equating Palestinians with Jesus. 

The rally, organized by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, the Muslim Association of Britain, and the Friends of Al Aqsa groups, had nothing to do with Christianity. Despite the rally’s obvious connection to Islam, the banner, prominently displayed, showed an image of Jesus carrying the cross with the caption, “Do not let them do the same thing again.”

Jesus as a Palestinian Terrorist

The image represents a claim which is, in fact, a part of Muslim theology which holds that Jesus, or Issa as he is called in Arabic, was a prophet of Mohammad. This aspect of Islam was adopted as a political weapon by Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian adviser of Yasser Arafat, who said in an interview to the Washington Jewish Week on February 22, 2001, that “Jesus was a Palestinian.”

This became the official PLO platform as evidenced by their frequent reference to Jesus as “the first Palestinian martyr” and whose annual Christmas statement reads, “Every Christmas, Palestine celebrates the birth of one of its own: Jesus.”

Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh who is the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, who, at a Christmas ceremony in Birzeit in 2019, described Jesus as “a Palestinian guerrilla fighter against the occupation.” 

This claim was recently adopted by Democrats in the US like Linda Sarsour. This claim of Jesus as a Palestinian has even been adopted by Christian clergy in the US, like Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and a Democratic congressman. This claim was first made from within the Democratic party by Reverend William Barber II who stated as much in his address to the 2016 Democratic National Convention that was described by the media as “rousing and was well-received.” Rev. Barber referred to Jesus as a “brown-skinned Palestinian Jew.”

Islamic Jesus an Insult to Christianity

David Nekrutman, a Jewish theologian with 20 years of experience in Jewish-Christian relations, noted that the

“The Muslims are trying to resurrect the old Christian anti- Semitic belief of deicide, where Jews are still collectively responsible for the death of Jesus. This belief justifies proactive violence against the Jewish people. However, many Christian movements in the last 100 years have repudiated the charge of deicide against the Jewish people including the Catholic Church in 1965’s Nostra Aetate.

“When Muslims make the claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, Christians should be protesting, for it strips away his identity,” Nekrutman said. “According to Christianity, Jesus was born as a Jew, practiced Jewish rituals, and died as a Jew as well as being the physical incarnate of the divine who died for the world’s sins.” Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus, within Christian theology, does not take away his Jewishness.

“Christians who support Israel and the Jewish people do not buy into this propaganda and proudly declare that their roots are in Judaism and the Jewishness of Jesus,” Nekrutman said.

More Palestinian Fake News

Dr. Mordechai Kedar has a deep understanding of the Arab mindset. A senior lecturer on Arabic culture at Bar-Ilan University, he served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena. Fluent in Arabic, he is one of the very few Israelis appearing on Arab television, frequently debating Arab thought leaders and imams in their native tongue.

“This use of Jesus as a Palestinian was launched in Christianity as a campaign called Christ at the Checkpoint in Bethlehem,” Dr. Kedar explained. “They portrayed the Palestinians as Jesus and since they accused the Jews of crucifying Jesus two thousand years ago, they claimed the Jews are doing the same thing to the Palestinians today. They actively perpetuate this narrative to enrage Christians against Jews.”

“According to Islam, Judas was crucified and not Jesus,” Dr. Kedar explained. “Being resurrected would put Jesus on a higher level than Mohammad who was not resurrected. The end of the Koran claims that God ‘never begot, nor was he begotten, and no one is equal to god.’ This was a direct counter to the basic creed of Christianity. When addressing Christians, Muslims hide this.”

“The whole Palestinian story is based on the appropriation of stories of others. They have nothing Palestinian in their narrative. The land is stolen, the history is stolen, even Islam is not particularly Palestinians. There is no Palestinian heritage at all. There are Jewish, Christian, and Muslim antiquities in Israel. But there are no Palestinian antiquities.”

“This is why Al Aqsa is so central to them. Without a claim to Al Aqsa, they have no connection to the land. And the claim that Al Aqsa is in Jerusalem is fake news, a fake account by the Umayads. To claim that Al Aqsa is holy to Islam is hugely insulting to most Sunni Muslims since it would raise the mosque on the Temple Mount to a level of importance that could contest the centrality of Mecca in Islam. But the Palestinians make this claim anyway.”

“Palestinian names testify that they are not really Palestinian. Many names identify their trues origins in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and other places in the Middle East. Claiming that Jesus is Palestinian is another attempt by Palestinians to claim to have roots here. But it is just another case of them appropriating something they have no connection to.”