Saying that Yeshua (Jesus) was one of the most controversial figures of all time is not an exaggeration. His existence is seldom put into question by anyone, even those who don’t believe in God. His ethnicity is also a slam dunk. Since His mother was Jewish, He was Jewish. Well, I wish it was that simple, but unfortunately, He has recently been painted as a Palestinian [TBC: For not the first time.]
While the exact origin of the name “Palestine” is still debated, there are aspects of the word’s meaning that we can know for sure. In A.D. 132, the Jewish Bar Kochba revolt took place against the Romans. Things didn’t end well for the Jewish people; and in addition to a bloodbath of gigantic proportions, Israel was renamed Palaestina by the Romans. The rebranding of the land with the name of their enemies, the Philistines, was an effort to undermine Jewish history and humiliate the Jewish people further.
When the British were in control from 1922 to 1948, the area was governed under what was known as the British Palestine Mandate. In the original text of the Mandate itself, dated 1922, we can read: “Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
Before the 1960s, historical documents were replete with descriptions of Israel as Palestine, such as the British Palestine Mandate already mentioned. Israeli stamps, coins and newspaper said “Palestine”, and nobody cared. Palestine was always synonymous with Israel, the Jewish State. Arabs in neighboring countries never called themselves Palestinians, but rather Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians, etc. Most Arabs in the early 1900s would have argued that Palestinian Arabs were simply Syrians as Mitchell Bard documents in his well-researched book Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
God used different names for the Land of Israel such as “The Land of Canaan” (Genesis:17:8), “The Promised Land” (Genesis:50:24), or even “The Land” (Exodus:6:8), nowhere in the Bible is Israel ever called Palestine even once. Even the Qur’an (Sura Maida 5:21-22) mentions the “Holy Land” in the context of Moses and the spies preparing to enter the Land of Canaan; but never does it call it Palestine.
What is really sad, is that the Arab refugees who were forced by their own countries to remain in Israel post-1948 ended up having children who then had children. These innocent subsequent generations have been labeled “Palestinians” for political gain….Backtracking to pre-1948 “Palestine” would connect them all with one or another of the neighboring Arab countries, but that doesn’t serve the current antisemitic agenda of Israeli occupation, colonization and ethnic cleansing, does it?
This would be bad if it stopped there, but it doesn’t. To garner more support from Christians who might not check the accuracy of what they are told, there is now a movement to paint Yeshua as a Palestinian and not a Jew. This is part of what can be called Christian Palestinianism.
In his book For Zion’s Sake, Dr. Paul Wilkinson writes: “Christian Palestinianism is an inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism. All the basic elements of a Christian Zionist eschatology are reversed so that the Bible is seen to be Christian, not Jewish, the land of the Bible is Palestine, not Israel, the son of God is a Palestinian, not a Jew, the Holocaust is resented not remembered, 1948 is a catastrophe, not a miracle, the Jewish people are illegal occupiers, not rightful owners, and biblical prophecy is a moral manifesto and not a signpost to the Second Coming.”
To some, this might sound like an exaggeration that nobody will take seriously. I wish it were true, but there are groups of Christians who actually buy into that lie….It doesn’t help when UNESCO decides to call the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name….It is also claimed that the Al-Aqsa mosque on top of the Temple Mount is the mosque that is referred to in the Qur’an (17:1). There it talks of a journey Muhammad made at night from the Sacred Mosque (Mecca) to the “Farthest Mosque”. Muslim scholars have later identified “The Farthest Mosque” with Jerusalem, but there was no mosque in Jerusalem at that time. Additionally, the al-masjid Al-Aqsa mosque was built in AD 705, which happens to be 73 years after the death of Muhammad. Here we have a historical anachronism conveniently ignored.