As Jesus approaches 2030th birthday, many are erasing his Jewish roots

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa at the annual Christmas eve procession in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, on Dec. 24, 2023. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90.

(JNS) — In honor of his birthday this year, Jesus received a multiple-choice answer about his identity — which often downplayed his Jewish origins.

“Jesus was born in Asia. He was Asian,” according to Christianity Today, which allowed that “Some may object to depicting Jesus as anything other than a brown male born into a Jewish family in Bethlehem of Judea in the first century, believing that doing so undermines his historicity.”

On Instagram, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a member of the progressive “Squad,” wrote that “When we justify the bombing of children, Jesus is under the rubble.”

Her comments appeared to echo what Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, said in a CNN interview.

“What I’m so struck by is that the story of Christmas is about a Palestinian Jew. How often do you find those words put together? A Palestinian Jew born into a time when his country was occupied, right? They can’t find a place for her to even give birth, his mother. They’re homeless,” Beck said.

“They eventually have to flee as refugees, into Egypt, no less. I mean, you can’t make up the parallels to our current world situation right now,” he added. “So in some way that is who we believe God becomes. Born into that situation and yet that very man Jesus says, ‘Love one another.’ ‘Love your enemies’.”

“I’m no expert CNN, but Jesus could not have been a ‘Palestinian Jew,’ because the term ‘Palestine’ was introduced by the Romans some years after his death,” wrote Jake Wallis Simmons, editor of London’s Jewish Chronicle. “Jesus lived in Judea. To retrospectively call him ‘Palestinian’ suggests a political agenda.”

Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a research fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that Beck “has to stop watching al-Jazeera and start reading the New Testament.”

“Because you know how in Matthew 15:24 Jesus said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’,” he wrote.

Christopher Lamb, the CNN Vatican correspondent, tweeted — and later deleted — “If Jesus were born today, he would be born in Gaza under rubble.”

In the past, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has called Jesus a “Palestinian messenger of hope.”