Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Palestinian antisemites "cancel Christmas" - and blame Jews

Christmas is canceled in Bethlehem, and Jews are to blame.

That's the message from the Washington Post's Ishaan Tharoor:
In Bethlehem, Christmas is canceled. Palestinian Christian leaders across denominations in the West Bank city decided last week that they will forgo all festivities this year as a mark of solidarity with their brethren in Gaza. There will be no public celebrations, no twinkling Christmas lights and no decorated tree in Manger Square — not as long, they say, as a state of war reigns over the embattled Gaza Strip, and the majority of its residents cope with Israeli bombardments, the devastation of their homes and a spiraling humanitarian crisis.

“This is madness,” Munther Isaac, pastor of Bethlehem’s Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, told me. “This has become a genocide with 1.7 million people displaced.”

But what about Hamas? Oh, they're pretty cool, according to Isaac:

 The delegation’s members condemned Hamas’s actions and deplored its killing of innocent civilians and abduction of hostages. But they questioned Israel’s declared intention to wipe out an organization that is part of the fabric of Palestinian society and seen as a standard-bearer of resistance to decades of Israeli military occupation and domination. “As horrifying as October 7 was, things did not start there,” Isaac said. “And you cannot just begin the story from there and as such, give a green light for Israel to do what it’s doing right now, which goes way beyond, which is a revenge campaign.”

In other words, empty words of condemnation for generic violence on both sides is the worst that Hamas can expect from these Palestinian Christian leaders.

Why? Because Palestinian Christian leaders are antisemitic on a theological as well as deeply emotional level. 

The churches in Jerusalem issued a statement on October 7  that didn't condemn Hamas, but instead implied that Israel was responsible for all violence, using the standard keywords of "justice and respect for human rights" which are only applied to Israel. 

They didn't even hint at the pogrom before first blaming Israel for violating the "status quo" in Jerusalem - another dog-whistle for Jews visiting the Temple Mount. 

Compare this wishy-washy, passive-voiced, both-sides call for ending hostilities with their sharply phrased condemnation of the "criminal attack" on the Al Ahli Baptist Hospital, which is obviously worded to blame Israel ("Military Forces") even though it was actually done by Islamic Jihad:

While the churches in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Gaza pretend to care about all human lives, Jewish lives really don't matter to them. 

And that is because they are doctrinally antisemitic. 

The churches in the region still espouse replacement theology, saying that all the Biblical promises to the Jews really apply to Christians (although the curses still apply only to the Jews.) The existence of Jews and Israel itself is a huge challenge to these churches. They still adhere to the worst forms of historic Christian Jew-hatred. The "Kairos Document" that they wrote concretizes this antisemitism as official Palestinian church policy that promotes supersessionism and denies any Jewish connection to the land.

This is the background that needs to be understood before examining why the churches in the region decide to "cancel Christmas" and send representatives to lobby America. Antisemitism in the region has always been at least as prevalent among Christians as it has been among Muslims. Nothing has changed theologically for those churches in their approach to Jews - we are still guilty of deicide and we are still a challenge to their very existence. 

In 1864, way before modern Zionism, an observer described how much Jerusalem's Christians hated Jews:

 On Good Friday the Jews cannot quit their own quarters, as the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians would insult and otherwise illtreat them. On some occasions the pasha has been obliged to guard the entrances of their streets with bodies of soldiers and police to protect them from the fanatical Christians, who would have made an attack upon them. No Jew, who lives at Jerusalem, dares to pass in front of the court of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, for he well knows how great a risk he runs of suffering for his curiosity. If, on an occasion like this, he were murdered, the malefactors would not be severely punished; for all the native population unfortunately hold the opinion that to injure a Jew is a work well pleasing in the sight of God. This is due to the fact that the Jews, although numerous, do not know how to make themselves respected; and to the sermons constantly delivered by the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians, in which the most opprobrious and unseemly epithets are heaped upon them, even in the churches themselves, and of course still more in less sacred places. These are all believed by the faithful, who are thus excited by their priests to insult all whom they meet. Again, the poorer Jews when going or returning from pilgrimages between Jerusalem and Hebron, avoid passing through Bethlehem to escape the insults which the "good Christians" of that place, excited by their monks, always inflict upon them. 

And that is the problem with all coverage of  Israel. Antisemitism, both Christian and Muslim, has permeated the region for hundreds of years before modern Zionism. The worst insult an Arab could call another has always been "Jew." 

Nothing has changed for Palestinian Christians since then. They are taught the exact same hate, lately refined by specifically anti-Israel "liberation theology." . They have not accepted the 1965 Nostra Aetate of the Vatican that re-evaluated the relationship between the church and Jews. Palestinian Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, rank among the most antisemitic people on Earth. 

It may not be politically correct to call all Palestinians antisemitic, but every survey shows that the overwhelming majority indeed are. Ignoring that is ignoring the very foundation of the conflict.  And covering, say, a visit by Palestinian Christians to the US without acknowledging this hatred is simply another dimension of antisemitism itself - because to deny the long history of Palestinian antisemitism is to excuse it. 

Munther Isaac is entirely correct when he says, "As horrifying as October 7 was, things did not start there." They started long before October 7, with historic Arab prejudice against Jews that remains a constant through today. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!