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Opinion: The Need for Historical Accuracy in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

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The claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, often used to undermine Jewish history, is not only historically inaccurate but also detrimental to the Palestinian cause, writes Peter Wehner in The Atlantic. (Shutterstock)
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The claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, often used to undermine Jewish history, is not only historically inaccurate but also detrimental to the Palestinian cause, writes Peter Wehner in The Atlantic.

The recent surge in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment, fueled by Hamas’s actions, has seen Israel being accused of genocide in the International Court of Justice. This is despite the fact that Israel was the target of brutal attacks by an Iran-backed terrorist group, Wehner notes.

The narrative that Jesus was Palestinian has been propagated by various figures, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Father Edward Beck, a Catholic priest. This claim, however, is historically incorrect, Wehner says.

Jesus was born to Jewish parents in Judea, lived as a Jew, and died as a Jew. The term Palestine did not exist during Jesus’s time. It was introduced by the Romans in the second century to sever the connection between Judea and the Jews.

An Attempt to Negate Jewish History

The assertion that Jesus was Palestinian is often used to negate Jewish history and claim that only Palestinians have a right to the land. This claim fuels the radical belief that Jews do not deserve a country of their own in their ancestral homeland, Wehner writes.

It is important to acknowledge that both Jews and Palestinians are indigenous to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This shatters the narrative that Israel is a “settler-colonial state” and that Palestinians have no legitimate national claims. The creation of modern Israel is not a case of colonization or imperialism, but rather an indigenous people returning home from exile, Wehner asserts.

The denial of history has been a key strategy of opponents of Israel. This historical erasure is being done by the enemies of Israel and the enemies of truth. A fair account of history, rather than a distorted one, is crucial for peace and reconciliation. Recognizing that Jews are also indigenous to the land once called Judea is a step towards this goal, Wehner concludes.

Read more at The Atlantic.

About the Author

Wehner is a senior fellow at The Trinity Forum and a former speechwriter for the administrations of three Republican U.S. presidents.

 

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