Jesus — a Palestinian or a Jew?
The PA promotes the idea that Jesus was "the first Palestinian martyr" and Mary, Jesus' mother, is an inspiration for "female prisoners — the Palestinian female fighters." In other words, according to the PA, the terrorists, including Hamas, follow in the footsteps of Jesus and Mary.
As the Christian world celebrated Christmas this week, a war was being waged in the Holy Land against an enemy that threatens not only the Jewish people but the entire Western-Christian civilization. Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, whose goals are universal.
This was determined by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the supreme religious authority of the movement:
Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453 (and became Istanbul) … now what remains is the conquest of the other city — Rome, and this is what we hope for and believe in. The meaning of this is that Islam will return to Europe once again as a conqueror and a victor after twice being expelled from it.
Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for nearly a thousand years before being conquered and becoming Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia church became a mosque. Rome is the capital of Catholic Christianity and also the symbolic capital of Western civilization. Therefore, its conquest is a physical and spiritual goal for radical Islam. Israel is the forward outpost in this war.
Erasing Jewish Memory
There is no substantive difference between Hamas and Fatah. The Palestinian Authority also tries to take over Christian heritage. Since they have no long history, they work to erase the Jewish memory from the land of the Bible. Article 20 of the Fatah charter explicitly states the following: “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history.”
If there are no Jewish roots in the land, Christians have none either. So what do you do with Jesus? Well, the PA promotes the idea that Jesus was “the first Palestinian martyr.” Mary, Jesus’ mother, in case you wondered, “is from the people of Palestine” and is an inspiration for “female prisoners — the Palestinian female fighters.” In other words, according to the PA, the terrorists, including Hamas, follow in the footsteps of Jesus and Mary.
Percentage of Christians Dropping in the Middle East
On Christmas, the world’s eyes are on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The city was once overwhelmingly Christian. Today, Christians make up just 15%. They fled in fear of the PA just as they fled in fear of Hamas (only about a thousand Christians remain in Gaza).
Across the Middle East, the percentage of Christians has dropped by double digits. Christians are persecuted and subjected to constant pressure to convert their religion. They have become similar to Jews in medieval Europe. It is worthwhile to look north to our neighbor, where a war is brewing against us. Lebanon was supposed to be the only Christian state in the Middle East, and today it is held captive by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization operating from Tehran. The only Christian community that is safe and thriving in the region is in the Jewish state. Many of its sons and daughters serve in the IDF and defend the Holy Land.
Jesus Was Jewish
Jesus was a Jewish preacher. He observed the Torah and its precepts and was crucified as a Jew. He was active in the Galilee and Judea and spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. The name “Palestine” or “Palaestina” was given to this land about a hundred years after his crucifixion, by Emperor Hadrian following the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. Hadrian wanted to make the Jews forget their land and that’s why he used the name of the Philistines, the biblical seafarers who had disappeared hundreds of years earlier.
Jews and Christians in the Same Boat
For 2,000 years, Jews were persecuted and their communities destroyed. In fact, they were crucified as a kind of post-traumatic “repetition compulsion” of the “crime” that led to the crucifixion they were not guilty of. In this sense, with the establishment of the State of Israel, Jesus descended from the cross, put on a prayer shawl, and returned home to Zion, only this time he held a weapon so as not to be crucified again.
In the current war, the Christian world is in the same boat as the Jews. The fate of the West depends on our unequivocal victory over Hamas.
Dror Eydar is the former Israeli ambassador to Italy.
Copyright 2023 Israel Hayom. Republished with permission of the author.