Culture

Suggestion Jesus Was Palestinian Is 'Anti-Semitic,' Evangelical Leader Says

Rep. Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn). (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Palestinian activists have long claimed that Jesus was Palestinian, not Jewish. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) joined The New York Times in calling Jesus Palestinian in April. The infamous former Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour repeated this claim in July. According to Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), the claim isn’t just wrong — it’s anti-Semitic.

“Jesus Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem in Judea to a Jewish mother. That means he was born and died a Judean Jew. The Bible makes no reference to a place called Palestine and the suggestion that he was Palestinian is not just heretical but anti-Semitic,” Cardoza-Moore claimed in a recent statement. She went on to suggest that Jesus would be prevented from entering Bethlehem if He walked on Earth today.

“Today the Christian community in Bethlehem has been reduced from the majority to a tiny persecuted minority under the Palestinian Authority. Large red signs can be seen on the entrances to Bethlehem declaring it as a no-go area for Israelis. If Jesus was alive today, he’d be labelled [sic] a Jewish Settler and barred from entering Bethlehem,” she added.

Cardoza-Moore insisted that “the narrative that Jesus was Palestinian is deeply rooted in a global anti-Semitic movement to rob Christians of their true Hebraic heritage and align the Church with radical terrorist groups that seek the annihilation of the Jewish State.”

She took aim at Florida pastor and radio host Rick Wiles, a notorious anti-Semite. She condemned his “replacement theology,” which she defined as “the belief that Christianity came to replace Judaism in the world and Jews are damned for eternity.”

“By falsely demoting the Jewish people to religious insignificance and damnation, these irresponsible hate-preachers are putting Jews in danger. The fictitious notion that Jesus was a Palestinian is the illegitimate child of Palestinian terrorists and replacement theologians that could ultimately lead to violent attacks against Jews worldwide,” Cardoza-Moore concluded.

PJTN’s mission involves educating, advocating, and activating “Christians, Jews and all people of conscience in building a global community of action and prayer in support of Jews and Israel. We are engaged in winning the ideological, social, moral and spiritual battle for the mind of this generation.”

A 501c3 non-profit organization, PJTN was established “to educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and Israel against the rise of global anti-Semitism.”

PJTN has taken a firm stance against the anti-Israel Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement. Last month, Cardoza-Moore told PJ Media that her group has been responsible for 15 anti-BDS resolutions, most recently in Ohio. The group has also launched a boycott against Airbnb when the company agreed not to list rentals in what it referred to as “occupied territory” in West Bank settlements.

PJTN also called for the resignations of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Israel banned Omar and Tlaib from entering the country, due to their support for BDS. In calling for Omar’s resignation, PJTN specifically noted her support for “the anti-Semitic BDS movement” and Omar’s tweet declaring that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”

Smeared as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), PJTN was recently banned from AmazonSmile, Amazon’s charity service.

Members of the Jewish community condemned The New York Times and Ilhan Omar for branding Jesus “Palestinian.” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, issued a powerful statement to The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

Cooper said it is a “grotesque insult to Jesus born in the land of Israel and to Christianity” to say that Jesus was a Palestinian. “Palestine was a name made up by Romans after they crucified thousands, destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the People of Israel from their homeland.”

While Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He grew up in Nazareth, which is in modern Israel. He grew up in Judea and considered Himself Jewish. Muslims have claimed — without any evidence — that Jesus was really a Muslim. Yet the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the New Testament epistles all firmly testify against this idea.

Modern political movements have attempted to claim Jesus as their own. A California church recently put figures representing Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in cages to make a political point against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Rep. Gary Loudermilk (R-Ga.) compared the Democrats’ impeachment against Trump with the baseless charges brought against Jesus before His Crucifixion — a heinous tactic that Democrats themselves used when Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus resolutely refused to take political positions, even though His time was as politically charged as America is today. Many expected Jesus to be a zealot, advocating for violent revolution against the Roman oppressors, but He constantly disappointed them by saying His kindgom is not of this world. He rebuked each of the popular factions of Judaism, gaining enemies everywhere. Jesus would not allow His message to be politicized, and it is shameful to turn His story into a political weapon.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.