Menu
American Jews Condemn Bible-Ripping Lawmaker

American Jews Condemn Bible-Ripping Lawmaker

Several U.S. Jewish groups condemned the public destruction of a copy of the New Testament by Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari.

Ben-Ari, a member of the National Union Party and reportedly a devotee of the late Meir Kahane, invited a legislative aide to photograph him ripping up a New Testament and throwing it in the garbage. Ben-Ari then had the photos sent to Israel’s daily Maariv. The book reportedly was mailed to Ben-Ari and the Knesset’s other members by a messianic Jewish group called the Bible Society in Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee issued statements condemning the action. In an interview with JTA, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called it an “outrageous” action that was “not acceptable.”

The Jewish Federations of North America told JTA it had no comment on the incident.

The Knesset’s lone Christian parliamentarian, Hanna Sweid of the Hadash Party, told the Jerusalem Post, “This is hooliganism, bullying and an apocalyptic act of hatred that was baseless and unnecessary.”

Other Knesset members, including a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemned the incident, and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin reportedly denied Ben-Ari a chance to explain himself on the Knesset floor, saying Ben-Ari should stop giving the Knesset a bad name.

Written by

JTA

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Next article

Recommend this article

American Jews Condemn Bible-Ripping Lawmaker

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close