General Antisemitism

Jesus as an oppressed Palestinian? Guardian yawns at PA’s evocation of antisemitic theme


The Palestinian Authority commissioned an art exhibit to coincide with Pope Francis’ visit to the region this week that consists of visual displays which includes classic bible-based art merging depictions of Jesus with modern day Palestinians.

As Palestinian Media Watch notes about the exhibit and past efforts by the PA to conflate Jesus with Palestinians:

The PA has misrepresented Jesus for years, claiming he was not a Judean as in Christian tradition, but rather a “Palestinian,” thereby claiming a Palestinian history dating back to the time of Jesus. Mahmoud Abbas recently said Jesus was “a Palestinian messenger.” This exhibit reinforces the pretense that Jesus was a Palestinian by visually merging the image of Jesus in classical art with pictures of Palestinians.

Whilst the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont briefly makes a reference to the Palestinian Museum exhibit in a recent report on the Pope’s visit (Pope Francis faces political and religious minefield in Holy Land, May 23), he completely fails to provide any context nor ask any critical questions.

Here are the relevant passages in Beaumont’s article:

In a refugee camp near Bethlehem, final preparations are being made for Pope Francis‘s first official trip to the Holy Land, which begins on Saturday night. On Saturday, in the Phoenix Centre, a modern community hall on the outskirts of the Deheisheh camp, Francis will sit with children from Palestinian refugee families. They will sing to him, show him their pictures and receive a blessing. After barely 15 minutes he will be whisked away on the next leg of his three-day tour of Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

The walls have been hung with giant composite pictures – archive images of the displacement of Palestinian refugees in 1948 merged with pictures documenting the changing Palestinian landscape until the present day.

Walls in streets across Bethlehem, through which the Pope will drive in an ordinary, non-bulletproof car, carry images from the same project, comparing the Palestinian experience to the suffering of Jesus. The point of these pictures, curator and director of Jack Persekian explained to the Guardian, is to emphasise to the pope the continuity of Palestinian experience since 1948.

Of course, “comparing the Palestinian experience to the suffering of Jesus” doesn’t, as Persekian claims, merely “emphasise to the pope the continuity of Palestinian experience since 1948”. It emphasises the putative continuity of the Palestinian experience since the birth of Jesus.

Moreover, Beaumont fails to explain the significance of the Jesus theme.

For instance, one work in the exhibit even evokes the decide charge (that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus) by using Raphael’s The Deposition (1507) which shows the dead Jesus being carried to his tomb. 

Here’s the original by Raphael:

18-raphael-paintings.preview

Here’s the Palestinian version from the current Palestine Museum exhibit:

988511_607500702698614_957813745928407508_n

As you can see, “Jesus’ legs have been replaced by a photo of the wounded legs of a Palestinian, which are being carried away by a man as an Israeli soldier looks on”.  This image likely represents an attempt to draw a historical line from the crucifixion of the ‘Palestinian’ Christ two thousand years ago to the violence committed today against modern day Palestinians by Israeli Jews.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Church repudiated the decide charge in the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).  Pope John XXIII, who initiated the first session of the Council, declared more broadly that “the sacred events of the Bible and, in particular, its account of the crucifixion, cannot give rise to disdain or hatred or persecution of the Jews”.

As CAMERA’s Christian Media Analysis Dexter Van Zile argued, in the context of Christian-Jewish relations, visual language which plays upon the decide charge (which has preceded and justified the killing of Jews for nearly two millennia) “is the [moral] equivalent of a noose hanging from a tree in the Old South”. 

But, then again, only those journalists who take modern-day antisemitism seriously would consider addressing the moral and political significance of such supremely cynical efforts by Palestinian leaders to evoke such historically toxic themes within the long saga of Christian anti-Judaism.

(See more from the Palestinian Museum Exhibit here)

29 replies »

  1. Could we perhaps have an image of J.C. having rocks or worse thrown at him by Palestinians because he’s an Israeli Jew?

  2. “Francis will sit with children from Palestinian refugee families. They will sing to him, show him their pictures and receive a blessing.”

    I wonder if they will sing any of the songs they learn about their goal of killing all the Jews? Or would that be in bad taste?

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/kill-all-jews-urges-hamas-tv-host/

    Once again, the naive foreigner wanders into a conflict he does not understand, if provided with a “fixer”, and goes away blaming the Jews.

  3. AKUS writes:

    ‘Once again, the naive foreigner wanders into a conflict he does not understand, if provided with a “fixer”, and goes away blaming the Jews.’

    This applies to both Peter Beaumont and Pope Francis. Popes refer to Israel as the ‘Holy Land’ and no one has the bad manners to refute this sleight of hand and tell them it’s actually Israel, but apparently it’s now the Pope’s belief that there is a ‘state of Palestine’.

    I am surprised by the Palestinian use of imagery of Jesus. According to Islamic belief it is forbidden to create images of any of Islam’s prophets which, of course, includes Jesus (Isa), These images may be the perverse work of Arab Christians but as we know from long experience Muslims don’t care who makes the images: the image maker and any unfortunate innocents in the mob’s path have to die.

    A study of Islam will show that the role of ‘Isa’ is considered to have been a limited mission to ‘reform’ the Jews. The mission failed and the ungrateful Jews demanded the crucifixion. Islam also claims that Jesus wasn’t crucified — it claims that Jesus was physically taken up to heaven — while someone else, thought to be Judas, was substituted instead. The crowd thought it was Jesus but it was a mass illusion.

    Does the Pope know these basic beliefs? One would have thought so since this is one of the most important belief-barriers between Christianity and Islam and would prevent the two religions ever gaining theological compatibility.

    The Pope has a wonderful opportunity while in the Middle East to denounce the escalating persecution of Christians in the region. I’m not holding my breath.

  4. “Of course, “comparing the Palestinian experience to the suffering of Jesus” doesn’t, as Persekian claims, merely “emphasise to the pope the continuity of Palestinian experience since 1948″. It emphasises the putative continuity of the Palestinian experience since the birth of Jesus [] This image likely represents an attempt to draw a historical line from the crucifixion of the ‘Palestinian’ Christ two thousand years ago to the violence committed today against modern day Palestinians by Israeli Jews.”

    Perhaps, more precisely, it attempts to recapitulate/iterate (the experience of) Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians as Jesus Christ in ethnic incarnation, crucified-colonized by (Guess who? those) “Zionists” all over again.

    It is indeed a piece of (Palestinian) Christian (and by nationalist adoption Muslim) nationalism, whereby Palestinian Christian (and by nationalist adoption Muslim) figurative or spiritual lineage from Christ is concretized into almost fleshly-genetic one, their alleged experience at the hands of Zionist Jews an alleged iteration of that of Christ at the hands of the earlier ones.

    Ironically, of course, the first self-designated Palestinian Christians actually thought the Jewish experience of exile and dispossession was the exact opposite of the Passion, rather no less than their just deserts precisely for it!

    In this modern Palestinian Christian nationalist myth, the original Palestinian Christian ethic and hermeneutic, that exile and dispossession evinced the heinousness of the sin it answered, is completely reversed, even as what was once for Palestinian Christians a spiritual, figurative lineage has now been incarnated as the literal, fleshly truth (not unlike the doctrine of the Incarnation, where the once literal son of Joseph and figurative son of God is replaced with a figurative son of Joseph and a literal son of God).

  5. The church fathers, including if not especially the Palestinian Fathers, thought the Jews exile and dispossessed for crucifying Christ. It is unsurprising, perhaps, for Palestinian Christians to hearken back to the myth that, in their view, put Jews in the proper place i.e. Out of Place (to quote Edward W. Said).

    For Palestinian Christians, Jewish powerlessness and exile evinced Jews’ deserving both: an ethnical as opposed to ethical Christianity could not possibly apply that same morality to itself: Palestinian Christian powerlessness and exile most evince Jewish guilt, again. Convenient if morally inconsistent.

    • No disrespect, zaccaerdydd, but I can’t really understand either of your posts above. Any chance you could render them in plain English because I’d like to be able to understand them.

      Islam teaches that Jesus was born of the ‘virgin Maryyam’ and had no father of any kind. It teaches that Jesus was on a limited and failed mission to ‘reform’ the ungrateful Jews, who according to the Qur’an, had altered and corrupted the Torah. Islam teaches that Jesus was a Jew only in the ethnic sense but as a prophet was a Muslim, as were all the prophets including Abraham, but by contrast the Jews were Jews.

      When well-meaning people describe Judaism, Christianity and Islam as ‘the three great Abrahamic faiths’ they are usually under the mistaken impression that Islam recognizes figures like Abraham and Moses as seen through Jewish scriptures, and that Islam sees Jesus as Christians more or less see him, until Mohammed came along and added his message.

      In reality Islam appropriates some of the prophets and patriarchs of Judaism and reconfigures them as authentic proto-Muslims with often disparate versions of events and sayings from those in the Torah, just as it appropriates Jesus as a proto-Muslim. As far as I am concerned Jesus was a false messiah who was born a Jew and died a Jew and his crucifixion was the result of his trying, in a wholly unrealistic way, to bring about the liberation of the Jewish people from Roman rule. Christianity was the later invention of Paul and this invention took place outside ‘Palestine’.

      • For early and subsequent Palestinian or other Christians, Jesus was not regarded as a ‘Jew-Judaean’ in the modern sense: he was regarded as God Incarnate born of a virgin of the house of David, under the Mosaic law, but who was rejected by Jews-Judaeans, who were punished with exile in favour of the gentiles-Greco-Romans, some of whom replaced them even in the land of Israel, as in the case of Justin Martyr.

        Their Christ was an ethnic cleanser. This is how they interpreted history as they saw it. Christ was only Jewish (and ancient Christians rarely say as much) in so far he properly constituted an end to all things Jewish, at least qua Judaism and literal observance of the Mosaic law were concerned (Marx might have said ‘Judaism in dissolution’). Gentile Christians became the true Jews, inwardly and figuratively.

      • [In reality Islam appropriates some of the prophets and patriarchs of Judaism and reconfigures them as authentic proto-Muslims with often disparate versions of events and sayings from those in the Torah, just as it appropriates Jesus as a proto-Muslim.]

        Christianity does the same thing, only qua ‘proto-Christian’.

      • [No disrespect, zaccaerdydd, but I can’t really understand either of your posts above. Any chance you could render them in phttp://cifwatch.com/2014/05/25/jesus-as-a-suffering-palestinian-guardian-yawns-at-pas-evocation-of-antisemitic-theme/comment-page-1/#respondlain English because I’d like to be able to understand them.]

        Perhaps if you were more specific about what it is you do not understand (other than ‘everything’) I could help.

      • [Islam teaches that Jesus was born of the ‘virgin Maryyam’ and had no father of any kind. It teaches that Jesus was on a limited and failed mission to ‘reform’ the ungrateful Jews, who according to the Qur’an, had altered and corrupted the Torah.]

        Christianity teaches something similar. Early Christian Fathers like Tertullian and Origen, before the birth of an informed Christian Hebrew scholarship with Jerome, actually accuse the Jews of having corrupted the Hebrew scriptures.

        This is a tradition the Muslims took over from the Christians.

  6. When the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of “Provincia Judea” to “Provincia Syria Palaestina”, the region was populated by Jews. As residents of Palestine, Jews thus became Palestinians. The lifetime of Jesus the Jew predated the use of the word “Palestine,” but the descendants of Jesus’ fellow Jews certainly would have been called Palestinians, so referring to Jewish Jesus as a resident of the area of future Palestine, and thus as a Palestinian, is only a small stretch. The mental leap that strains all credulity lies in describing the non-Jewish Arab descendants currently trying to inhabit Jewish Palestine as Palestinians. If the Arabs currently calling themselves Palestinians want to actually be Palestinians, they should find themselves a good rabbi and convert.

    • [When the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of “Provincia Judea” to “Provincia Syria Palaestina”, the region was populated by Jews. As residents of Palestine, Jews thus became Palestinians.

      The lifetime of Jesus the Jew predated the use of the word “Palestine,”]

      Rubbish, see below.

      [but the descendants of Jesus’ fellow Jews certainly would have been called Palestinians]

      They were regarded by Greco-Romans as inhabitants of the region of Palestine long before Jesus, though the first persons in the historical record to define +their own+ origin as from a place called ‘Palestine’ appear to have been Palestinian Christians, such as Justin Martyr, in the second century.

      Judaea was probably mostly populated by Jews, but not the region which included Judaea but which was known to Greeks and Romans as Syria Palaestina. The area of “Judaea” itself could also vary. The official Roman province had originally included, but since the death of Herod the Great had excluded, Samaria, Philistia, Idumaea and the Galilee, all of which included significant numbers of non-Jews, Idamaeans’ only having been recently forcibly converted (in the first ‘jihad’?). Herod had founded the largely gentile Hellenistic colony of Caesarea-Maritima, which became the Roman administrative capital, thence of Palestine proper.

      Syria Palaestina included numerous Greek poleis-apoikiai, and could on some views encompassed Tyre-Lebanon-Phoenicia as well as largely non-Jewish Gaza in the south and Hellenistic Gadara and the Decapolis in the north east. It was precisely of such Greco-Roman poleis that some/many Judaean rebels sought to purify the land in 66-70.

      Hellenistic i.e. pre-Roman Palestine produced several important non-Jewish philosophers and poets such as the Cynic Mennipos and Meleager, both of Gadara-Antiochia. Zeno of Citium and Chrysippus of Soli, both founders of Stoic philosophy, the most important philosophical school of the age, are widely thought to have been of Phoenician descent. Martin Hengel has said that Stoic philosophy was likely merely the translation of semitic ideas into Greek, and in turn had a huge influence on Hellenistic Jewish philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria, especially Stoic allegoresis which he employed to interpret the Mosaic law in such a way as to comport with the philosophical and scientific truths of the day, which Paul also employed and even the rabbis in their midrashic techniques.

      A case can be made that the Mosaic law, via Hellenistic Judaism and Christianity, only became relevant to the wider, non-Jewish world through this (in origin) non-Jewish Palestinian influence.

      There was most definitely a pre-Roman Palestine, albeit not an officially designated province, with probably an overall majority of non-Jews. But by the first century the Hellenizing of even Aramaic speaking Judaea was well underway, with likely 10s of 1000s of chiefly Greek speaking Jews living even in Jerusalem. There was even a Greek speaking Pharisaic school, from which Saul-Paul appears to have come, and who clashed primarily with Greek speaking ‘liberal’ Jews like Stephen of the early Jerusalem church. The rabbis or their antecedents would be highly influenced by Hellenistic modes of allegorical interpretation of Mosaic law. Even their goal to teach all the people the law might be seen as an indirect impress of a liberalizing Hellenistic tendency.

      It had been Hellenistic Jews who had tried to reform the temple cult in the second century, to bring Judaea into line with other provinces of the Seleucid empire, but their efforts were thwart by a traditionalist reaction that in no small part succeeded because of Roman support. That Roman policy of interference in and destabilizing of the Seleucid empire came back to bite it in the backside as it in no small part contributed a traditionalist or conservative resistance-terrorism that had to be ruthlessly suppressed in the first and second centuries, resulting finally in the official birth of a specific province of Palestine, though it had been a common geographical name for centuries, since at least Herodotus.

      An analogy today would be, I think, the progressive liberalizing reforms the Soviets tried to bring to Afghanistan in the 1970s and 80s e.g. gender equality, which were thwarted by US support for the Mujahadin, not from love of the Afghan people but to destabilize the Soviet empire. The result was the highly conservative and reactionary Taliban regime which nurtured Al Qaeda, the US’ analogous “Judaean” (as it were) terrorism-freedom fighting problem. The success of the Maccabees ironically prevented Judaea from fully integrating into the mores of either Macedonian or Roman empires, necessitating, in Roman eyes, its replacement by a province of Palestine.

      [If the Arabs currently calling themselves Palestinians want to actually be Palestinians, they should find themselves a good rabbi and convert.]

      More rubbish.

      For Palestinian and early Christianity generally that replacement or ethnic cleansing was an indispensable proof of the truth of the gospel. Christ was the great colonial ethnic cleanser, of Jews of/and Judaea. As I said, the first persons in the historical record to define +their own+ origin as from a place called ‘Palestine’ appear to have been Palestinian Christians, such as Justin Martyr, in the second century, who explicitly lectures a Judaean refugee, Trypho, that he and his fellow Jewish Semites have been dispossessed for rejecting Christ while Japhetic Greco-Romans such as himself (Justin Martyr, a colonial citizen of Flavia Neapolis) have been given the land as God gave it to Israel, the land of his origin which he explicitly defines as ‘Palestine’, and is the first Christian to do so.

      • zaccaerdydd:

        You have clearly gone to great length to try to substantiate your view of Jesus and yet I am still unable to understand exactly what you are getting at in relation to Palestinian utilization of crucifixion imagery for political purposes.

        I don’t want to prolong this as I have a life to lead, but I would like to refute your overall views about Jesus, based as they seem to be on an anti-Jewish perspective. I am indebted to the late Professor Hyam Maccabee’s book ‘The Myth Maker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity’ (1985) for my knowledge of Paul and his role in the invention of Christianity which led me to examine Maccabee’s theories and I agree with his conclusions..

        I maintain that:
        1) Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew (and was an ordinary mortal man);
        2) Jesus seems to have been a great teacher, preacher and healer;
        3) Jesus thought, wrongly, but I think sincerely, that he was both the Messiah and a prophet. (As far as I know no other man claiming to be the Messiah also claimed to be a prophet as well, or vice versa.);
        4) Jesus was a Zealot and wanted to overthrow Roman rule and liberate the Jews;
        5) Jesus seems to have thought that a miracle through him would achieve his goals;
        6) The Pharisees would have had no problem with Jesus claiming to be the Messiah. Any male Jew descended from the House of David is entitled to make that claim — all that is necessary is to prove it — by fulfilling the Jewish concept of what the Messiah will usher in to the world. Clearly Jesus failed to usher in a Messianic era, so clearly he couldn’t have been the Messiah;
        7) The Romans would not have crucified Jesus just because of his messianic claim unless they thought he was politically dangerous, which one can conclude they thought he was: after all he had many followers and was well-known;
        8) Jesus did not create a new religion subsequently called Christianity. The earliest Christian writings are the Letters of Paul written to his non-Jewish congregations in the areas far from Jerusalem where Paul travelled and some years after the crucifixion: a crucifixion Paul did not witness as he never met Jesus;
        9) Paul implied he was a pupil of Gamaliel. It is rather unlikely he was ever a pupil of Gamaliel because Gamaliel taught Torah and related studies at an advanced level. Levels which Paul — newly arrived from the non-Jewish center of Tarsus in what is now Turkey — is unlikely to have attained in readiness;
        10) However, if Paul was such a clever Torah student why was he, claiming to be a Pharisee, working as a paid thug for the Sadducee High Priest at the Temple? (The High Priest was seen by the Pharisees as a Roman lackey.)

        It is my belief, based on close reading of Paul’s works and career that he was probably a convert to Judaism, failed to become the great rabbi he wanted to be, and used his theological genius to create Christianity among people who were not Jews and so knew little or nothing that would refute Paul’s claims and teaching.

        • [I don’t want to prolong this as I have a life to lead, but I would like to refute your overall views about Jesus,]

          They are not +my+ views, they are those of normative ancient (including Palestinian, as opposed to Judaean) Christianity.

          [I don’t want to prolong this as I have a life to lead, but I would like to refute your overall views about Jesus, based as they seem to be on an anti-Jewish perspective. I am indebted to the late Professor Hyam Maccabee]

          You clearly haven’t read him very closely (and I read all his works, however eccentric sometimes) since Maccabbe often described normative Pauline or Catholic Christian views or opinions while distinguishing them from his own.

          You clearly cannot distinguish between discribing an historical view or opinion and whether one agrees with it or not personally.

          [based as they seem to be on an anti-Jewish perspective.]

          Which would be, I fear, a normative historical Christian one, including a Palestinian Christian one.

          As for Maccabee’s utilizing the Ebionite tradition that Saul was a Hellenistic convert to Judaism, well, it may be true, but the weight of tradition is a against it, as are the majority of even Jewish academic New Testament specialists e.g. the Israeli David Flusser. I am no fan of Saul-Paul, but Judaism had had near 400 years of Hellenistic influence by his time which had had a tangible effect on even Aramaic speaking Jews (v. Martin Hengel’s seminal Judaism and Hellenism, for instance). Saul-Paul was in origin a Greek speaking Jew from Tarsus who seems to become attached to a largely Greek-speaking element of the Pharisees (and most leading Saducees and Saducees were probably educated to the tertiary Hellenistic level, what we might call ‘degree level’: it was impossible to conduct one’s affairs effectively in the wider Greco-Roman world without such a grounding).

          Did I say Saul-Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, as he claims for himself? If you read Maccabee closely you’d notice in The Myth-Maker that he claims Paul’s allegorizing the Law from practical existence echoes some extreme Hellenistic Jews’ doing so which Philo berates. It is this allegoresis which becomes extremely important to Christian reception and interpretation of the Law, none more so in that of Origen in Palestinian Caesarea.

          Before accusing others of English insufficiently plain, try reading what they write instead of imputing to them what they do not. And perhaps learn some manners at the same time.

          • [I maintain that: 1) Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew (and was an ordinary mortal man);]

            a) clearly my personal view too: “the doctrine of the Incarnation, where the once literal son of Joseph and figurative son of God is replaced with a figurative son of Joseph and a literal son of God”, had you literacy in plain English. However, genius,
            b) clearly +not only not the view of normative orthodox Christianity, and hence most Palestinian Christians+, but not even the view of Paul, who is already engaging in metaphysical speculations about Jesus’ divine sonship. This despite your claiming to have read Paul closely, which you clearly have not.

            [4) Jesus was a Zealot and wanted to overthrow Roman rule and liberate the Jews]

            Again, clearly, not a normative Palestinian or any other orthodox Christian pov of Jesus and arguably not necessarily the view of some, many or most of the Hellenistic Jewish members of the Jerusalem and Judaean church as racounted in the New Testament, some of which, such as Stephen, hoped rather for the overthrow of the Jewish temple cult. It was precisely to such as these that Saul originally took exception, driving many of them out into Peraea.

            [8) Jesus did not create a new religion subsequently called Christianity.]

            Again, clearly, not a normative Palestinian or any other orthodox Christian pov.

  7. Jesus was sentenced to death by the Romans, according to the evangelists.
    In reversing, relativising and subverting history and religion in order to demonise and delegitimise Israel, Arabs are turned into Jews, Jews into Romans, analogous to the demonisation of Israel as the nazi perpetrator and the staging as the new victms of a fictional Holocaust.

    • [I don’t want to prolong this as I have a life to lead, but I would like to refute your overall views about Jesus,]

      They are not +my+ views, they are those of normative ancient (including Palestinian, as opposed to Judaean) Christianity.

      [I don’t want to prolong this as I have a life to lead, but I would like to refute your overall views about Jesus, based as they seem to be on an anti-Jewish perspective. I am indebted to the late Professor Hyam Maccabee]

      You clearly haven’t read him very closely (and I read all his works, however eccentric sometimes) since Maccabbe often described normative Pauline or Catholic Christian views or opinions while distinguishing them from his own.

      You clearly cannot distinguish between discribing an historical view or opinion and whether one agrees with it or not personally.

      [based as they seem to be on an anti-Jewish perspective.]

      Which would be, I fear, a normative historical Christian one, including a Palestinian Christian one.

      As for Maccabee’s utilizing the Ebionite tradition that Saul was a Hellenistic convert to Judaism, well, it may be true, but the weight of tradition is a against it, as are the majority of even Jewish academic New Testament specialists e.g. the Israeli David Flusser. I am no fan of Saul-Paul, but Judaism had had near 400 years of Hellenistic influence by his time which had had a tangible effect on even Aramaic speaking Jews (v. Martin Hengel’s seminal Judaism and Hellenism, for instance). Saul-Paul was in origin a Greek speaking Jew from Tarsus who seems to become attached to a largely Greek-speaking element of the Pharisees (and most leading Saducees and Saducees were probably educated to the tertiary Hellenistic level, what we might call ‘degree level’: it was impossible to conduct one’s affairs effectively in the wider Greco-Roman world without such a grounding).

      Did I say Saul-Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, as he claims for himself? If you read Maccabee closely you’d notice in The Myth-Maker that he claims Paul’s allegorizing the Law from practical existence echoes some extreme Hellenistic Jews’ doing so which Philo berates. It is this allegoresis which becomes extremely important to Christian reception and interpretation of the Law, none more so in that of Origen in Palestinian Caesarea.

      Before accusing others of English insufficiently plain, try reading what they write instead of imputing to them what they do not. And perhaps learn some manners at the same time.

  8. zaccaerdydd:

    Considering that you are on Cifwatch promoting anti-Jewish and pro-Palestinian Christian views and in addition doing so in jargon designed to show how clever and educated you are, I consider I have been both polite and good mannered in my responses to you.

    While I agree with your reference to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, I most certainly would never equate it with the Greco-Syrian occupation of ‘Palestine’ at the time of the Maccabees. To me Chanukah is the celebration of the victory of Jews over tyrants and for religious freedom and as such requires no other justification.

    • [Considering that you are on Cifwatch promoting anti-Jewish and pro-Palestinian Christian views ]

      Where? How?

      I celebrate Hanukah too. I am simply not incapable of reading beyond Hasmonaean political propaganda which most Jewish academics, both Israeli and non-Israeli, agree taints the sources. You are decades behind the curve.

      • [While I agree with your reference to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, I most certainly would never equate it with the Greco-Syrian occupation of ‘Palestine’ at the time of the Maccabees. To me Chanukah is the celebration of the victory of Jews over tyrants and for religious freedom and as such requires no other justification.]

        I allow my analogy is imperfect (as are all analogies): ‘Judaea’ proper would be more like the Saudi Kingdom and ‘Jews’ in general would be more like ‘Muslims’ (I wonder which Palestinian Muslims, Hamas or PLO, would rejoice in this analogy) but even thoses, I allow, are imperfect as analogies for all kinds of reasons.

        However I think there are enough points of contact to make a fruitful comparison: the success of the Maccabees lead, I think to a dangerous illusion: that a supernatural power was on Judaeans’ side when rebelling against empire rather than simply a convenient alignment of imperial powers, where the Seleucid was waning largely because the Roman was waxing.

        The fatal error of the rebels of 66 CE and onwards was hubris: they truly believed they stood a chance against the USA of its day, even though it was Rome that had stood behind the Maccabaean revolt, and they believed that in no small part because of a belief in a supernatural agency on their side, a belief that the Maccabaean victory had, I think, fueled.

        The lesson of these events is that one should avoid hubris: one should avoid thinking one can stand against or do without the ‘Rome’ of today, which is, I think, mainly the US, but also, to a degree, the European powers, and their markets which Israel needs. I see some Israel supporters flexing their figurative muscles and stating bullishly that Israel doesn’t need the US, or even Europe, that she can stand alone, supported by her income from gas, electronics, innovation or whatever. I saw Hubris in Moshe Ya’alon’s openly disparagingly US power, as though it were something Israel can do without.

        Well, the Australians just pulled out of the gas deal, Israel can’t afford reservist training and the defence budget is being slashed. Israel is a lot more vulnerable than some of her more bullish defenders allow. That is why she needs peace, not just with the Palestinians, but with the US and EU, both of which are tiring of the situation as it is. Beware hubris, beware the error of 66 and that which has destroyed every Jewish state in the past.

  9. [Considering that you are on Cifwatch promoting anti-Jewish and pro-Palestinian Christian views ]

    You’re an idiot who cannot distinguish describing a thing from endorsing it.

  10. zaccaerdydd:

    I appreciate your reply.

    You seem to be defending the use of political imagery of the crucifixion of Jesus by Palestinians using dense theological and historical arguments about the nature of Jesus. If I was a Christian — which obviously I am not — I would be offended by this imagery which to my mind attempts to politisize, cheapen and exploit something that lies at the very heart of the Christian faith.

    Equally, if I was a Muslim I would also find it deeply offensive for the reasons I described in earlier posts on this thread.

    As it is I am a Jew, and although I reject both Christianity and Islam, I still find the imagery repellant. I can’t understand which segment of Palestinians finds this imagery acceptable.

    If, as you say, I am decades behind ‘the curve’ I wonder what ‘the curve’ can tell me that’s new?

    • [You seem to be defending the use of political imagery of the crucifixion of Jesus by Palestinians]

      How?

      [using dense theological and historical arguments about the nature of Jesus.]

      I am describing the normative patristical theological view, which was also the ancient Palestinian one. They didn’t believe in the ‘historical Jesus’ as it is usually understood today.

      [If I was a Christian — which obviously I am not — I would be offended by this imagery which to my mind attempts to politisize, cheapen and exploit something that lies at the very heart of the Christian faith.]

      Well a lot of modern Christians are indeed offended by what was normative Christianity in antiquity. That should not intimidate the historically minded. By the same token many more traditionalist Christians are offended by your entirely humanly begotten historical Jesus, too.

      [Equally, if I was a Muslim I would also find it deeply offensive for the reasons I described in earlier posts on this thread.]

      Traditional Islam borrowed from Christianity the idea of Jewish dispossession for rejecting the prophets and corrupting the scriptures. That is not very contraversial.

      [As it is I am a Jew, and although I reject both Christianity and Islam, I still find the imagery repellant.]

      Did I say I was a fan? Describing isn’t endorsing.

      [I can’t understand which segment of Palestinians finds this imagery acceptable.]

      I don’t see what that has to do with me.

      [If, as you say, I am decades behind ‘the curve’ I wonder what ‘the curve’ can tell me that’s new?]

      Try reading modern academic historiography on the Hasmonaeans, for a start.

  11. While I was writing my response to you and said ‘I appreciate your reply’ you needlessly got in with another post calling me an idiot.

    Earlier today you unjustifiably told me I needed to learn manners. Hark who’s calling the kettle black….

    • Yeah, well, I don’t take kindly to having all manner of things I have never said or written attributed to me by a some one who complains I am insufficiently plain yet cannot be bothered to actually read me.