But Schiftan's larger point is the celebration of religious diversity and tolerance:
Ours is a city, and a state, and a nation, composed of Christians and Jews, of Buddhists and Hindus, of Muslims and Bahai, and even of those of no faith tradition or belief.
What would Jesus, the Jew, do? He would treasure the Divine image he believed was contained in every human soul, and value the freedom of religious expression, which he fought for in his day, as well.
And that is perhaps the greatest gift of the holiday season, whether that gift is to be found under the tree, or under the menorah, or anywhere under the heavens. At this season, it is that gift that matters most.
Commenter Shelby Vaughn, obviously feeling the holiday spirit and in the mood to celebrate Jesus' message of love and tolerance, offered this observation:
Well we'll never know what Jesus the Jew would do because he was betrayed and crucified by his own.
Since so many folks have a dog in this fight, I thought I'd look to the ultimate source for truth: The Straight Dope — "Fighting ignorance since 1973 (it's taking longer than we thought)." After all, if it's on the the Internet, it must be true. But seriously, the site has a very thoughtful, thorough piece on the topic (so thorough that I haven't had time to read it all, being deadline day and all). But here's an excerpt that eloquently states the case:
First, who killed Jesus is irrelevant. If you're a devout Christian, Jesus would tell you not to blame but to forgive. If Jesus hadn't died on the cross, you'd have no route to salvation. So in a way you should be thanking those who executed him, not blaming them.Sounds a bit like presidential campaigning, actually. You gotta play to your crowd. How timely.
Second, as you say, the question is politically sensitive, to say the least. The accusation of "Christ-killer" was used as justification for isolating, robbing, torturing, and murdering Jews. It's only in recent times—the last fifty years, perhaps not that long—that leading Christian authorities have reviewed the circumstances and acknowledged the injustices of the past 2,000 years.
Third, there is no historical record of the condemnation of Jesus other than the New Testament. The different books of the New Testament give five slightly different accounts. Although the versions agree on the main points, the emphasis and details vary. Each author had his own biases and agenda. The authors of the gospels weren't writing objective history; they were trying to convert a particular audience, and their words reflect that.
The first Christians were Jews who appealed to other Jews to accept Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. Their preaching thus did not condemn the Jews too harshly, laying most of the blame on the Romans. When the Jews rejected conversion, many early Christians turned against the Jews and looked for converts in the vast Roman Empire outside Judea. Their preaching therefore was careful not to condemn the Romans too harshly, but it was OK to blame Jews.
After nearly 4,000 words of exposition, The Straight Dope offers the only logical conclusion:
SO, WHO KILLED JESUS, ALREADY?
In summary, Jesus was killed because the Roman empire mercilessly put down any possible source of rebellion or riot. The empire's agents included the Roman prefect Pilate who ordered the execution, and the Jewish high priest Caiaphus and his council who initiated the process. Assigning responsibility to an entire group of people, whether the Jews or the Romans, is stereotyping, oversimplifying, and false.