Rep. Ilhan Omar (D – Minn.), who has a history of anti-Semitic tweets, retweeted a statement that Jesus was a Palestinian.
The freshman representative retweeted a criticism of the "Christian right" by Muslim scholar Omar Suleiman, that asked rhetorically, "Don't they know Jesus was a Palestinian?"
Omar, by the way, was not alone. An op-ed published in The New York Times last week originally asserted that "Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin."
The language was later changed to Jesus "presumably had the complexion of a Middle Eastern man," and a correction asserted that "an editing error" led to the mistaken language.
(It would not be the only recent correction of The New York Times for its Middle East coverage. After a couple of tries, the Times apologized for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon in its international edition.)
The Jewish Journal reported that Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate and director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, blasted Omar for the tweet.
In an email to the Journal, Cooper called the characterization of Jesus as a Palestinian to be "grotesque insult."
"Palestine was a name made up by Romans after they crucified thousands, destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the People of Israel from their homeland," Cooper elaborated.
Jesus, who lived in what was then called Judea (now Israel) at the time, preceded the Muslim conquest of the Middle East by several centuries, so identifying him as a Palestinian makes no historical sense.
One of the hallmarks of modern anti-Semitism is denying the historical connection between Jews and the land of Israel. Identifying Jesus as a Palestinian is a manifestation of this phenomenon.
It's odd that people who deny the Holocaust — roughly a decade of Jewish history — are considered beyond the pale but that people who deny 2,000 of Jewish history are increasingly in the mainstream.