If Jesus were alive today, living in the Holy Land, where would you go about looking for him?
Michael Oren is the former Israeli ambassador to Washington and now in Netanyahu’s cabinet. Now Oren must be a smart guy but last summer he proved he knows zoltz about theology.
In July of 2015 Oren gave a talk to a group called Knesset Christian Allies Caucus or what i would call Israel firsters, Israel can do no wrong etc.
And playing to his audience of Israel boosters Oren actually said if Jesus were alive today he’d be a settler in the West Bank.Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist would today be considered Jewish settlers in Bethlehem,” he continued, adding that “We are on a holy mission to ensure the Jewish state remains strong and beloved.”
How about a settler with a gun harrassing Palestinians? Why not?
Aside from the cliches like the above, Oren would have Jesus proudly setting up tent on stolen land where Palestinians like he was, are abused on a daily basis.
Haaretz blogger the American born Bradley Burston got closer to the mark when he wrote the following:
This was a man, after all, who was born into a Holy Land living under the weight and the violence and the rebellion and the injustice and the corruption of occupation.
This was a man who was raised in a Holy Land living under the humiliation and the disorder and the misrule and the property destruction and the legal larceny and the forced family disintegration and the spilled blood and the jail without due process and the searing fears and the ingrained denial and the bogus religiosity, of occupation.
Where would you look for such a man?
You might look for the rabbi of the Sermon on the Mount. You might look for the believer who preaches a radical doctrine of non-violence.
These days, you might expect to find him in Susya. The latter is a small Palestinian village the state wishes to uproot.
You would expect to find Jesus working with the villagers. You would expect to find him standing up to the authorities who have vowed to demolish the village despite everything .”
These days in the Holy Land, you’d expect to find Jesus feeling right at home. Overturning the tables of a corrupt-to-the-bone religious-political priesthood. Addressing the deepening social needs of providing for the hungry and the ailing. Turning the other cheek in place of putting out an eye for an eye. Loving his neighbor.
These days, you would expect to find Jesus in Susya, standing with B’Tselem, with Breaking the Silence, with Adalah, with All That’s Left – Anti-Occupation Collective, with Combatants for Peace, with Ta’ayush, with Peace Now.
And, yes, and perhaps particularly, with Rabbis for Human Rights.