The Uniting Church of Australia, the country’s third largest Christian denomination, has responded with anger to an article written by two Palestinian activists claiming that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian.
In the article the authors — Samah Sabawi and Bassam Dally, who are active for the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network — write:
An official delegation representing our country in Israel has added fuel to the flames of extremism abroad by applauding proven human rights violators and insulting the living descendants of Christ in his home of birth in Palestine.
A preposterous statement, of course. Jesus was a Jew, not a polytheistic Arab, which is what Arabs living in those times generally were.
After publication of the article, the executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry — Peter Wertheim — rightfully wrote an angry letter to the head of the Uniting Church, which is the third largest Christian denomination in Australia. In it he wrote:
The proposition that Jesus was a Palestinian and that the Palestinian Arab population of today are his “living descendants” is so absurd and offensive that it deserves an immediate and substantive rebuttal.
Uniting Church of Australia president Stuart McMillan has now openly agreed with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Responding to the letter of the ECAJ, McMillan writes:
I would like to assure you and the Jewish community that the Uniting Church does not accept the view that Jesus was Palestinian. We affirm that Jesus and most of his early followers were Jewish. We note that Jesus was born neither in Israel nor in ‘Palestine’, but in the Roman-occupied province of Judea, and that it is entirely inappropriate for anybody to attempt to claim political capital from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem to bolster claims of either ‘side’ of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
It’s sad, but this statement of fact is nothing less than courageous nowadays. Every person with even a basic knowledge of history knows that Jesus was a Jew. He belonged to the same people Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu belongs to. If He had any children (which he didn’t), they’d have been of Jewish ancestry, not of Arab descent. And they would have (in all likelihood) been Christians, not Muslims — and not Christians of Arab descent.
That much is clear. However, to say so nowadays is an act of pure bravery. Not because Westerners and Jews don’t know better, but because Palestinians and other fundamentalist Muslims cry racism and can even become aggressive when they’re called out for trying to rewrite history.
It’s of the utmost importance for Jews and Christians to resist the Islamization of Jesus. Jesus was not a Muslim — Islam was founded hundreds of years later — and He wasn’t an Arab (or Palestinian), but a Jew, a descendant of the great Jewish king David. If Muslims want to see Him as their ancestor, they can do so by converting to Christianity, which will make Jesus their spiritual father.