This Christmas, Let's Remember, Jesus Was A Palestinian
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
On Christmas Day this year the World will again celebrate the birth of Jesus but needs to loudly and publicly proclaim the truth that Jesus was a Palestinian. Goodhearted and honest Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Jews, Animists, Agnostics and Atheists would all agree that Jesus was a wonderful humanitarian, and an outstanding moral philosopher. All of us, from Atheists to Zoroastrians, recognize Jesus as the most renowned Indigenous Palestinian. Today under US-, UK-, Canada- and Australia-backed and racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel the land of Palestine has been 90% ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinians, 75% of Christian Palestinians have fled the Occupied West Bank, and Palestine, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is peculiar in being denied de facto statehood and remains violently occupied by a nuclear terrorist, rogue state run by genocidally racist European colonizers.
Palestine is the land west of the Jordan River and derives its name from the Philistine sea people who settled the coastal region in circa 1200 BC and are referred to from that time onwards by the Egyptians and thence by the Assyrians in circa 740BC. Canaanite, the name given to Palestinians in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, refers to people trading in the purple cloth of the great Semitic Phoenician civilization. The great 5th century Greek historian Herodotus (c irca 484 – 425 BC) referred to ”These Phoenicians… now inhabit the sea coast of Syria; that part of Syria and as much of it as reaches Egypt, is all called Palestine”. The Jewish Roman historian connected with the Hasmonean Jewish aristocracy, Josephus (37-circa 100 CE), was involved in the First Jewish Roman War (67-33 CE) but thence rejected rebellion against Rome as inspired by fanatics. Josephus referred to Jews as among the inhabitants of Palestine (see “The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia”, volume 3).
The forebears of the Indigenous Palestinians were the Semitic inhabitants of Palestine and participants in the agrarian revolution in the Fertile Crescent that was one major nucleus of human agrarian civilization. The Holy Bible (Genesis 15.18-21 ) refers to the complexity of the population of the region: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram [Abraham] , saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” There is no Egyptian record of the Exodus of the Israelites (see Shlomo Sand, “The Invention of the Jewish People” ) but the Holy Bible refers to the inhabitants of Palestine to be ethnically cleansed by the Israelites, namely (South to North), the Midianites, Edomites, Amalekites, Moabites, Jebusites, Philistines, Canaanites, Ammonites, Amorites, Gileadites, Bashanites and Phoenicians (see Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”).
According to the Biblical accounts, acting on the orders of their Lord, the Israelites ethnically cleansed Jericho (Joshua 6.12: “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword”), Ai (Joshua 8.26: “For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai” ), Makke'-dah, La'-chish, Lib'-nah, Eg'-lon, Hebron, De'-bir (Joshua 10.39: “And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cites thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining as he had done to Hebron, so he did to De'-bir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Lib'-nah, and to her king”) and thence the Galillee of Gileadites and Bashanites (Deuteronomy 3.6: “And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon, King of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women , and children of every city”.
“The Lord of hosts” instructed Saul “Now go and smite Am'-a-lek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass”. Saul failed to carry out his orders to destroy everything and everybody and was accordingly cursed. David succeeded Saul and finally captured the Jebusite city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5.8: “And David said on that day, whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jeb'-u-sites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, the blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” Fortunately for the Canaanites, the Israelites were not as successful as set out in The Bible. According to Shlomo Sand in his book “The Invention of the Jewish People”, the “kingdom of David and Solomon” (1,000-925 BC) did not stretch from the River Euphrates to the River of Egypt as asserted by Martin Gilbert (Atlas of Jewish History”) but was a much smaller affair confined to Jerusalem and neighboring towns and villages.
Jesus came from Galilee and spoke Aramaic, like the surviving Samaritans in Palestine today and the largely Christian Assyrians in Syria and Iraq . His wonderful message of peace and “love thy neighbor as thyself” has inspired decent humanity for over 2,000 years. It is an appalling irony that hundreds of thousands of Christian Assyrians fled Iraq after the illegal invasion by the ”Christian” US Alliance and that 75% of Bethlehem Christians have fled the Anglo-American -backed Palestinian Genocide now live abroad (see “Palestinian Christians”, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Christians ). The ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Palestinians by Israelites under genocidal mass murderers Joshua, Saul and David in circa 1000BC is now being repeated in Palestine by the US Alliance-backed racist Zionists as summarized below.
In 1880 there were about 0.5 million Indigenous Palestinians. Of the 25,000 Jews in Palestine half were immigrants (see: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story559.html and http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm ). Palestinian casualties of war violence total about 80,000 since 1948 and about 100,000 since 1936 (see “Palestinian casualties of war”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_casualties_of_war ). However one must also consider avoidable Palestinian deaths from war-, expulsion- and occupation-imposed deprivation that now total about 1.9 million since 1948. Thus Palestinian deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation since 1936 total about 2.0 million. In contrast, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry: “From 1920 through 1999, a total of 2,500 residents of Mandatory Palestine and, since 1948, the State of Israel fell victims to hostile enemy action; in most cases, terrorist attacks” and “1,218 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000” i.e. 3,700 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since 1920 as compared to 2.0 million Palestinians killed by racist Zionist colonizers since 1936.
Yet as pointed out by Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University (a university that sits on the site of an Arab village ethnically cleansed within living memory), the cultural and ethnic descendants of the Palestinians of the time of Jesus are indeed today's Indigenous Palestinians. In contrast, most of the Jewish Israelis are descendants of Yemeni, Berber and Khazar converts to a commendably universalist Judaism of the first millennium CE.
Palestinian refugees total about 7 million, of whom about 5 million are registered with the UN. Of 12 million Palestinians, about 6 million are forbidden to even step foot in their own country, one of the world's oldest civilizations dating to the very dawn of agrarian civilization. This has been a Palestinian Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group". The race-based, racist Zionist-run Apartheid State of Israel is a democracy-by-genocide. Of about 12 million Palestinians, only the adults of 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis (21% of the Israeli population) can vote for the government ruling all of a 90% ethnically cleansed Palestine plus part of Lebanon and a near-completely ethnically cleansed part of Syria , albeit as third class citizens. 1.6 million Occupied Palestinians are abusively confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp and 2.5 million Occupied Palestinians live under highly abusive military rule in West Bank Bantustans. There are 5.9 million Jewish Israelis and 0.3 million non-Jewish and non-Arab Israelis (see “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ ).
Outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond in his best-selling book "Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the "moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people", an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel and by its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers in the post-1990 War on Muslims that has been associated, so far, with 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation (see “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ ).
The largely Christian Americans have an acronym WWJD that stands for “What would Jesus Do?” There is no doubt in the mind of decent people that the wonderfully humane Jesus would be dead opposed to the following genocidal atrocities by the racist Zionists or by the Zionist-backed US Alliance (deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation in parentheses): the Palestinian Genocide (2.0 million since 1936), the Iraqi Genocide (4.6 million since 1990), the Somali Genocide (2.2 million since 1992) and the Afghan Genocide (5.6 million since 2001). Jesus no doubt would share the humane position of anti-racist Jews and ant-racist non-Jews opposed to such atrocities (for the opinions of such outstanding humanitarians about the ongoing Palestinian Genocide see “Jews Against Racist Zionism: : https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ and “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ ).
At Christmas time we remember the Biblical story of the Holy Family fleeing as refugees from the genocidal infanticide of King Herod. We should spare a thought for the 7 million Palestinian refugees and over 20 million Muslim refugees in the world today largely due to Anglo-American-backed Zionist violence or Zionist-backed Anglo-American violence, the breakdown being 7 million Palestinians, 5-6 million Iraqis, 2.0 million Somalis, 3-4 million Afghans, 1 million Libyans, 0.5 million Syrians, 1 million Myanmar Rohingyas and 2 million Pashtun refugees generated in NW Pakistan by US and US-backed violence.
At Christmas time we remember the Biblical story of mass murder of infants by Herod. We should spare a thought for the present era, and the 3,000 Palestinian infants dying deprivation-linked deaths under Israeli Occupation and the 0.2 million who have done so since 1967; the over 7 million under-5 infants dying avoidably each year on Spaceship Earth with Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist One Percenters in charge of the flight deck; and the nearly 6 million under-5 year old infants who have died avoidably in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims since 1990, the breakdown being 1.8 million (Iraq), 2.6 million (Afghanistan) and 1.2 million (Somalia), this being a Muslim Holocaust commensurate with the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from imposed deprivation).
Yet these horrendous realities are steadfastly ignored by One Percenter-run Mainstream media in the Western Lobbyocracies , Murdochracies and Corporatocracies in which Big Money buys people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality and votes. For decent human beings it goes without saying that “thou shalt not kill children”. If Indigenous Palestinian Jesus had been born in our era He might well have become one of the 1 million Palestinian children killed through violence or deprivation since 1936; one of 2 million Occupied Palestinian children denied human rights by the Israelis; or one of 0.8 million Palestinian children abusively confined to what the Catholic Church has described as the Gaza Concentration Camp, and of whom 80,000 are physically stunted due to Israeli sanctions.
WWJD (“What would Jesus Do?”) Jesus would speak out as he did 2,000 years ago when he declared (Matthew 18.6): “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” We must all live Jesus' message of “love they neighbor as thyself” but love is not enough – we must speak out on behalf of the innocents suffering at the hands of the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist One Percenters. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We must follow the example of the Aramaic-speaking Good Samaritan in Aramaic-speaking Jesus' famous parable: we cannot walk by on the other side.