Mufti of Bethlehem's classic Christian Jew hatred

Muslim mufti borrows a page from Christian anti-Semites slurring Jews as killers of Jesus, adds a twist with PA's 'Palestinian Jesus' trope.

Ari Yashar ,

Armenian Christians from Jerusalem in Bethlehem (illustration)
Armenian Christians from Jerusalem in Bethlehem (illustration)
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has long incorporated blatant anti-Semitism in its onslaughts targeting Israel, and the PA Mufti of Bethlehem this week continued the tradition with a dose of classical Christian anti-Semitism flavoring his vitriolic attack on the Jewish state.

The Mufti of Bethlehem, Abd Al-Majid Amraneh, was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Thursday as having spouted the anti-Semitic trope on official PA TV this Monday, when he referred to Jews as the killers of Jesus in a libel used for centuries to justify horrific Christian anti-Semitic violence.

The Muslim mufti emphasized his location in Bethlehem in his borrowing of the ancient Christian libel.

"Here in Bethlehem and Palestine, we are still suffering from the agony of those days, as almost the same group (Jews) that persecuted Jesus, the same group that wanted to deceive Jesus and attack him, is still attacking Palestine, Palestine's people, and Palestine's young men and women," said Amraneh.

Making his likening of Jesus and "Palestine" all the more ludicrous is that the Christian account clearly recalls Jesus as being a Jew.

Amraneh's linking Jesus to "Palestine" echoes a tried and true PA ahistorical claim that Jesus was Palestinian meant to demonize Jews as the killers of Jesus and Palestinians.

Back in May 2014, in time for Pope Francis's visit, the PA prepared an art exhibit in Bethlehem presenting Jesus as a "suffering Palestinian" to slander the Jews.

Ironically the usage of classic Christian anti-Semitism comes even as the PA is responsible for intense persecution of the Arab Christian population living under it, seen most visibly in the rapid disappearance of Bethlehem's Christian population.

As a result of various forms of persecution, the Christian population in Bethlehem has nearly disappeared under PA rule since the 1994 Oslo Accords, dropping from 60% in 1990 to just 15% in 2014.