Israeli embassy’s Christmas message of hate: Bethlehem Palestinians would “lynch” Jesus and Mary as “Jews”

israel_in_ireland.jpg

Screenshot from official Facebook page of Israeli embassy in Dublin

“A thought for Christmas…If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians. Just a thought …”

That was the Christmas message posted today, along with a depiction of Jesus and Mary, on the official Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin.

The message drew immediate criticism from Gary Spedding, an activist with the cross-community Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, and a student at Queens University Belfast, who demanded that the embassy should “apologize for this vile Christmas message of hate and sectarianism.”

Embedded rich on Twitter

Spedding offers further analysis of the posting on his personal blog.

Israeli attacks on Christians and Christianity

The offensiveness of the message needs no further elaboration, but Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem will find it particularly galling given that it is Israel, with its wall surrounding their city, and other violent manifestations of the occupation, which has done most to strangle the home of the Nativity. Recently, Israeli settlers, with the collusion of Israeli authorities, have stepped up so-called “price tag” attacks on Christian holy sites.

Palestinian Christians living under Israeli rule also face widespread discrimination.

The idea of the modern Israeli settler-state providing “security” to Jesus is even more absurd and offensive given the contempt in which Christianity is held by some Israeli officials. Earlier this year Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari tore up a copy of the New Testament and, throwing it in the trash, claimed, “This abominable book brought about the murder of millions of Jews.”

For several years, Shimon Gapso, the notoriously racist mayor of the Israeli settlement of “Upper Nazareth” in the Galilee, has banned Christmas trees, calling them a provocation. “Nazareth Illit [Upper Nazareth] is a Jewish city and it will not happen – not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” Gapso said.

Finally, the notion that Palestinians would “lynch” Jesus is also a disturbing echo of the anti-Semitic “Jews killed Jesus” canard.

Unhinged

This is not the first time the Israeli embassy in Dublin has been responsible for messages that are even more unhinged than typical Israeli government propaganda.

In June, Nurit Tinari-Modai, the deputy ambassador, made headlines when she proposed a plan to personally smear Palestine solidarity activists – especially Israelis – to “humiliate and shame them” as suffering from psychological and sexual problems and imply that they work for Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Update: Israel embassy claims hate message unauthorized

Following the outrcy over its hateful Christmas message (see above), the Israeli embassy in Dublin has deleted the message from its Facebook page and posted an apology claiming it was unauthorized:

To whom it may concern: An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page. We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Merry Christmas!

There’s something disingenuous and unbelievable about this. First of all, how did someone unauthorized get hold of the password or Facebook account of notoriously “security”-conscious Israeli officials? Perhaps there should be an investigation.

Early comments under the “apology” post indicated skepticism about the explanation.

“ ‘An image was posted without the consent of the administrator’ just doesn’t cut it. Are you running this page from a public cyber cafe?” commented Facebook user Zeeshan Shahid.

But of course the other reason the “apology” lacks credibility is that the social media accounts of the Israeli embassy in Ireland have a history of posting bigoted material.

Earlier this year, for example, the @israelinireland Twitter account made an Islamophobic comment suggesting that real Irish citizens could not be Muslims. “Ah yes… those Saladin O’Sullivans and Faisal O’Farrells… #Irish to the backbone!” the embassy tweeted to Irish Times journalist Mary Fitzgerald who had just published a story “on the fighters from Ireland who have joined the Syrian uprising.”

Embedded rich on Twitter

And, as mentioned earlier, there is the bizarre plot by deputy ambassador Nurit Tinari-Modai to malign Palestine solidarity activists as sexual deviants.

If today’s Christmas message was unauthorized, what about all the rest of the hate being spewed by Israel’s representatives in Dublin?

Comments

It's unlikely that the Palestinians, who have always shown considerable restraint in the face of their gradual mutilation and destruction at the hands of a far more wealthy and powerful country, would abruptly and without reason lynch two Palestinian Jews spreading a message of love and peaceful cohabitation. The post made by Israel in Ireland is not only disrespectful and destructive to the peace process, but it makes no sense whatsoever.

YES; BUT all is well that ends well; and no accusations of anti-Christianism or anti-Semitism are to be levelled in this case, and we should be grateful for the amount of lines spared here in stark contrast with the daily hash experiences of occupied Palestinians...

exactly!...besides he does'nt know the facts ..and that is that the jews don't accept jesus as their messiah!..they're still waiting for their messiah to come..."when ignorance is bliss,...'tis folly to be wise.."

If Mary, a Palestinian Jew, were to give birth in Bethlehem today, she'd be stuck a checkpoint, denied health care or even a manger, and probably be allowed to bleed to death before the ambulance could pass.

So true

Perfect and excellent observation

Bigots are always semi-educated in their own history.
The definition "Jew" is a modern one. At the time of his birth Jesus was not a Jew according to definitions at the that time. A Jew at that time was from Judea. Jesus was from Gallilee, not Judea. He was Hebrew, but not Jewish. He was a Nazarene or an Essene - a Hebrew sect.
In fact one of the reasons Jesus was attacked and crucified by the Judeans in partnership with the ruling imperial power - Rome - was because he was not a Judean and presented a threat to Judea.

To whom it may concern: An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page.
We have removed the post in question immediately.
Apologies to anyone who may have been offended.
Merry Christmas!

https://www.facebook.com/Israe...

Lol are you serious?! Hacked? Unauthorized? Haha what BS. Glad you removed it though. And glad you've shown your true colours.

I'm American, not Israeli, and I have no connection to the Israeli embassy in Dublin or the Israeli government. I've been to Dublin but have no idea where the Israeli embassy is there. It is irresponsible journalism not to follow-up with the response of someone who has been caught saying something inappropriate; they must be given a chance to double down or walk back. This is a walk back.

"Walk back" would be, in my dictionary, to say "we said something inappropriate and we apologize about it" at least. When you say "we didn't say it, we were hacked" you admit no wrongdoing on your part. I don't believe themby the way, just sayin'.

Think the embassy has taken down the group - can anyone else access it?

So it was "posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page".

There must have been someone or sometwo involved:
-- Someone looked for & found the picture,
-- Someone thought of and physically typed text,
-- Someone send it up for publication,
And only THEN, there was an "administrator" at the Israeli Embassy's FB page who mistakenly did "consent".

Besides being offensive, racist, inflammatory, etc... Do they think the nativity story is about the grown Jesus and Mary? Did they mean Joseph? And... If Jesus were alive today do they think he would support the occupation??? Or would he be a nonviolent resistance activist?

Jesus could not have been born in Bethlehem today. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem from Nazareth for the census. There is no way a Palestinian can travel that route today. There is a huge concrete fortification in the way.

As for killing Jesus, while Roman soldiers did the deed, Jesus' death was ordered by King Herod, the king of the Jews.

Actually I don't think it was Herod who ordered the execution of Jesus but the religious leaders of the Jews who coerced a reluctant Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, into carrying it out. The Jews as an occupied nation were not permitted to carry out capital punishment only the occupying power, Rome, could do that. See St John's gospel for details. Anyway there is a certain irony in representatives of the Jewish state trying to blacken the name of oppressed Palestinian people in this crude and highly offensive manner when according to the gospels it was their religious ancestors who were responsible for the death of Jesus. That is of course if you believe in any of this which I must confess I do not being an atheist. Having said that I do wish to extend seasons greetings to all citizens of Palestine whether Moslem, Christian, Jewish or non-believers, and hope that the day when you can live in freedom will soon come.

Jesus (with Mary) IS alive!

The percentage of christians living in the West Bank is 3 to 4 times higher than in Israel. Now why should that be? Perhaps they are more comfortable there?

I doubt if Pontius Pilate was 'coerced' by the Sadduces into executing Jesus. I suspect that the Romans were more than capable of deciding their own agenda.

More to the point, the message from Israel's Embassy in Dublin is not only racist and offensive but ignorant and ahistorical. Quite who do they think the 'Palestinians' of that time were? Apart from other Canaanite tribes?

It is clear that many if not most Hebrews of that time became Christians and therefore this is a classic case of reading the present backwards into history.