The Uniting Church of Australia, the country’s third largest Christian denomination, has responded with anger to an article written by two Palestinian activists claiming that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian.
In the article the authors -- Samah Sabawi and Bassam Dally, who are active for the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network -- write:
An official delegation representing our country in Israel has added fuel to the flames of extremism abroad by applauding proven human rights violators and insulting the living descendants of Christ in his home of birth in Palestine.
After publication of the article, the executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry -- Peter Wertheim -- rightfully wrote an angry letter to the head of the Uniting Church, which is the third largest Christian denomination in Australia. In it he wrote:
The proposition that Jesus was a Palestinian and that the Palestinian Arab population of today are his “living descendants” is so absurd and offensive that it deserves an immediate and substantive rebuttal.
|Not Jesus...or David|
Uniting Church of Australia president Stuart McMillan has now openly agreed with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Responding to the letter of the ECAJ, McMillan writes:
I would like to assure you and the Jewish community that the Uniting Church does not accept the view that Jesus was Palestinian. We affirm that Jesus and most of his early followers were Jewish. We note that Jesus was born neither in Israel nor in 'Palestine', but in the Roman-occupied province of Judea, and that it is entirely inappropriate for anybody to attempt to claim political capital from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem to bolster claims of either ‘side’ of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.