Much has been made of Howard Jacobson's approach to Jesus in the start of a series on this subject, currently showing on Channel 4:
As it happens, some Catholic friends were discussing this programme with me last night. They were disappointed that Howard didn't seem up to date on the real progress that has been made in Catholic-Jewish relations since the Holocaust and especially since Vatican II:
However, context is everything. Recently a Cardinal has compared Gaza to a concentration camp. Tell me: were Polish Jews holed up in the Warsaw Ghetto (such as my own grandmother) firing rockets at Warsaw and beyond? No, I thought not:
Plus, if you visit some Catholic countries, such as Lithuania, and are visibly Jewish, then somehow you don't always feel quite welcome.
In addition, some Christians seem to have a penchant for stating that Jesus was not Jewish, but Palestinian and that he would currently be siding with the Palestinians over and against dreadful Israel. This is just one disgusting example from Sabeel:
Those who would deny Jesus' Jewishness in this way run the risk of being compared to Hitler and the Nazis, who deemed Jesus an Aryan.
All this goes to show that people define their gods in their own image and to suit their own purposes. It is how we behave every minute of the day that counts. That is the definition of Judaism, and no doubt that is what many Christians believe as well.
To be Jewish is to be a mensch - the rest is .....