At a recent Christmas dinner, Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh said Jesus was the first “Palestinian” and taught Palestinians to be martyrs, i.e. suicide bombers.
“Our lord Jesus, peace be upon him – the first Palestinian self-sacrificing fighter from whom we learned Martyrdom-death, and who paid for his mission with his life,” Shtayyeh was quoted as saying in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al Jadida on December 28.
“The prime minister’s categorizations of Jesus are insulting to Christians and Christian tradition in many ways,” wrote Itamar Marcus, Director of the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), in an article.
According to Marcus, the PA uses the term “self-sacrificing fighter” (Fida’i) for terrorists who have been killing Israelis since 1965.
One of the more recent cases was that of Palestinian terrorist Ashraf Na’alwa, who murdered his two co-workers – one a young mother of a one-year-old and the other a father of three.
“Fatah glorified the murderer repeatedly including [in] this post on its official Facebook page, which called him: ‘The legend, the heroic self-sacrificing fighter (Fida’i) Ashraf Na'alwa’ [Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 13, 2018],” said Marcus.
Marcus noted that in Matthew 5:39 Jesus himself said not to resist an evil person but to turn the other cheek. Therefore to characterize Jesus as a “‘self-sacrificing fighter’ in the category with Palestinian murderers is a desecration,” he said.
Marcus said that presenting Jesus as one who taught Palestinians to aspire to be martyrs is also a “grave insult to Christians” because the PA promotes martyrdom-death for the sake of rewards in Paradise, “among which according to Islam’s tradition, the ‘martyr’ marries 72 dark-eyed virgins.”
Another insult to Christianity that is not new is calling Jesus “a Palestinian” when the Bible clearly says Jesus is a Jew “living and interacting with other Jews in the nation of Judea,” Marcus said.
“Palestine” was a name historically used by the Romans after the destruction of the Temple in the 2nd century CE.
In his post-Christmas interview, Shtayyeh also linked Jesus to the “martyrs” for Palestine.
“The birthday of our Lord Jesus…takes place at the same time as the anniversary of the outbreak of the Palestinian revolution (i.e. its first terror attack against Israel called ‘the Launch’ of Fatah), for which thousands of Martyrs have paid with their lives,” Shtayyeh was quoted as saying.
“Linking Jesus to the thousands of Palestinian ‘Martyrs’ which is the term the PA uses to define all its suicide bombers as well as all terrorists who were killed while attacking Israelis, is yet an additional desecration of Christianity,” Marcus said.
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