Bethlehem – Heritage

LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR

June 23, 2012 by William H. Scarle, Jr.

Hugh lies are a historical marker of any totalitarian regime.  Those of us who are old enough recognize the persistent lying of the Nazi government in Germany before and during the Second World War.  It was Hitler who declared that if you tell a lie long enough and loudly enough people will believe it is true.  In our own time lying has become the mark of the Moslem Arab world, especially in regard to Israel.

Examples are not difficult to come by.  The so called “Palestinian Authority” denies there ever was a Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  This is loudly proclaimed in spite of all the archaeological work done in the area and which is still in process.  The Holocaust is denied and proclaimed a trick of the Jews to get the sympathy of the world and steal Moslem lands.  The list goes on, but one of the lies bears on a question that is currently being exploited.

For some time there has been an effort to identify Jesus as a “Palestinian.” Yasser Arafat used to declare Jesus as a Palestinian each year as he kicked off the annual Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem.  The fact that the current “Palestinians” are Arabs and Moslems did not seem to faze him a bit.  Mahmoud Abbas, the current leader of the “Palestinians,” and Salam Fayyad, the current mayor of Bethlehem have kept the lie going.  Last year, as Fayyad flipped the switch which lit up the fifty foot Christmas tree in Bethlehem, he declared, “Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate the Palestinian identity of Jesus Christ.”  He seemed oblivious to the fact that Yeshua is a Jewish name, and “Christ” is the Greek translation of “Messiah,” the deliverer of Israel.

Who would buy into such lies?  The answer; The United Nations.

Last year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially recognized Palestine as a state.  This is a total fiction since the so called “Palestinian territory” is a part of the sovereign state of Israel.

This month the UN’s World Heritage Committee is meeting in Russia to debate the inclusion of several locations as “World Heritage Sites.”  The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the places being considered.  The Palestinians want it recognized as a “World Heritage Site of Palestine.”  Israel is contending that the Church is indeed a World Heritage Site, but that listing it under “Palestine” is both erroneous and harmful to the peace process.

The absurdity of listing the oldest Christian church structure in existence as a Moslem controlled site should be evident.  It apparently is not.  The present building was built by the Emperor Justinian (527 AD), and survived the Persian invasion of Israel (614 AD).  The church is built over the cave which tradition holds to be the birthplace of Jesus.

In a TV interview on December 3, 2010 Samih Ghan Adreh of Nazareth remembered fondly how Yasser Arafat would speak about Jesus as “the first Shahid (martyr).   His host responded, “Jesus was a Palestinian; no one denies that.”  This is an example of the culture of lies broadcast by  Palestinian Authority TV.  And if the Church of the Nativity falls under Palestinian administration, it may be as difficult for Christians to visit as the Temple Mount is now, where if you get there you are not so much as to give any indication that you are praying.  If you do, you will be stoned.

(Bill Scarle may be contacted at ravscarle@verizon.net).

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