Tag Archives: Christmas

Just a thought: Jesus, Arafat and Abbas

In a few days, the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas will end with the Feast of the Epiphany that is celebrated on January 6. Unfortunately, ever since the “little town of Bethlehem” came under Palestinian control in December 1995, the holiday time also means that there is intense Palestinian propaganda of the most distasteful kind. I have often wondered how this goes down with some of the Christian organizations that are ardent supporters of the “Palestinian cause” – which all too often might be better described as an anti-Israel cause.

While we are already used to the ridiculous claims that “Jesus was a Palestinian,” this year a new twist was added when an op-ed in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida asserted:

“Jesus is a Palestinian; the self-sacrificing Yasser Arafat is a Palestinian; Mahmoud Abbas, the messenger of peace on earth, is a Palestinian. How great is this nation of the holy Trinity!”

I was reminded of this when I just now read one of Walter Russell Mead’s Yule Blog posts – a venerable Via Meadia tradition to mark the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Under the title “One For All”, Mead writes:

“In contemplating Christmas, we should never forget that the first Christmas was first and foremost a Jewish event. Mary, Joseph, the innkeeper, the shepherds, the baby: they were all Jewish. And as the baby Jesus moved toward adolescence and adulthood, it was Jewish religion, Jewish literature, Jewish culture and Jewish history that shaped his personality and his mind.”

Mead goes on to offer many interesting thoughts; and he also touches on antisemitism, quoting the well-known expression:

“How odd of God
To choose the Jews.”

Noting that there were many responses to this couplet, Mead presents his personal favorite:

“It’s not so odd

 As those who choose

 A Jewish God

 And spurn the Jews.”