By: Jonathan S. Tobin – Jewish News Syndicate; jns.org
An effort to appropriate the holidays in order to delegitimize Israel denies Jewish history and ignores the truth about the fate of the Christian minority in Arab lands.
It used to be confined to an annual piece of theater staged by the Palestinian Authority every Christmas. The festivities in P.A.-governed Bethlehem are primarily aimed at promoting Christian tourism. But statements alleging that Jesus was a Palestinian have always accompanied the activities there, including a parade to the Church of the Nativity.
The efforts by the late terrorist chieftain Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, his successor as head of the P.A., to appropriate Christmas as a prop for their war on Israel have generally been dismissed as holiday nonsense by sensible people. But there’s more to this than just the desire of the Palestinian leadership to exploit the fact that the international press pays attention to events in the otherwise sleepy city in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem once a year.