Member of Israeli Knesset Rips Up New Testament In Protest Over “Revolting Book”

Michael Ben-Ari, a member of the National Union Party in the Israeli Knesset, wanted a staff member to film him recently for his constituents to see. While most politicians go for the baby kissing scene or memorial day speech, Ben-Ari wanted to be shown tearing out the New Testament from a bible and throwing it into the garbage — a despicable act of religious intolerance and hate.

Ben-Ari is reportedly a devotee of the late Meir Kahane and apparently a Jewish version of Rev. Terry Jones. To their credit, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee have condemned the action.

A Christian member of the Knesset has called for Ben-Ari to be charged with incitement, which I believe is a mistake. Such prosecutions are part of a trend of prosecuting critics of religion. Rather than punish such acts as crimes (under international blasphemy standards or hate crime laws), such acts should be subject to this type of universal condemnation. It is an act of free speech but it is also hateful and disgraceful. Notably, the destruction of the bible did not trigger the type of vandalism and killings often following the destruction of Korans. However, it should result in the censorship of this member by the Knesset.

Ben-Ari has been outspoken in opposing the visit of the Pope to Israel and advancing his extreme agenda. His 2012 visa application to attend a conference in D.C. was denied on the State Department’s as part of its “prerogative to ban terrorists from entering the country.”

Ben-Ari later explained his actions by insisting “Millions of Jews were murdered in the name of the New Testament, this revolting book brought massacres of Jews in the [Spanish] Inquisition and throughout history.”

It always impresses me how prejudiced hateful people like Ben-Ari will reach back to find some historical excuse for hating other people or faiths — in this case the Spanish Inquisition.

Despite the criticism of some leaders, the response to Ben-Ari has been rather muted, including from his fellow party members. There is no indication whether he will face a formal sanction for his hate-filled demonstration.

Source: JPost

38 thoughts on “Member of Israeli Knesset Rips Up New Testament In Protest Over “Revolting Book””

  1. Many of those who have deep seated hatred for the Jews in Judaism, will take this as an example of oppression and great evil.

    I am a young old fashioned Christian, and I must say I, or my ancestors, couldn’t truly care that much.

    Anyways this reminds me of a pastor’s sermon in which he ripped up loose (not actual bible pages) pages in the Bible as he said “I don’t like this [rip]. I don’t agree with that [rip]. that isn’t important [rip]” His message was that people have to accept the entirety of scripture.

  2. Just checking patti johnson, would that “all in israel….” include death to the non-Jews living there too, such as the Israeli Arabs, the Muslims, the Christians, the Greeks, Turks, Germans, Peruvians and, say, Norwegians?

    We’ll need to find that out so we can really achieve peace, right?

  3. It was a despicably disrespectful and insensitive act, to be sure–especially when done in such a public and attention-seeking manner. However, he didn’t to go out and obtain a copy of the New Testament for himself for the purpose of ripping it up; rather, it was sent to him by a Christian missionary, presumably in a misguided attempt to convert him. That was also a disrespectful and insensitive act.

    Bit of an interesting kashe here: what SHOULD he have done with the book?

  4. Malish,

    But I would like some tarot cards. Did you ever see those round ones? They’re beautiful; I’d like to make a mobile out of some of them.
    Will have to purchase the tarot cards. Don’t have any, presently. Do have a bible around here somewhere.

  5. Jerryball, Sure people hear about atrocities to victims other than Jews. Go to the Holocaust Museum in DC; you will see (in the Nazi propaganda exhibit) plenty of mention of that. There’s enough atrocity to go around. Nobody needs to get riled that Jews publicly carry on about atrocities to Jews, though — aren’t others free to chime in and say, “Yeah, we agree, and we have suffered this same unacceptable bullying behavior”?

    Free for ALL. Nobody has a patent on suffering. But that doesn’t mean that we should restrain our own objections to victimization of US, no matter who WE ARE.

    In other words, I don’t feel that I should hold back in any way, objecting to antisemitism, because there are other manifestations of the same hateful disgusting behavior toward non-Jews or other groups.

  6. Well, throw the first stone won’t you? We, too, have our Jew-haters galore. But, having said that, it’s always about the Jews isn’t it? The inquisition also did auto da fe’s against homosexuals and “blasphemers.” The Nazi Holocaust policies also gassed millions of Russians, Gypsies, and homosexuals. But one NEVER hears about those, do we? There’s enough atrocities go spread around to everyone, including Jews.

  7. Matt J — Sure I get to burn an American flag. But if you’re a right-wing member of the Knesset in Israel, actions you take can have effects on people you do not know, and there is much to be considered. Do you really want to feed the flames of about a dozen irrational hatreds that will not be handled in psychiatrists’ offices but WILL be handled in the streets where somebody — NOT YOU — will get killed? I don’t suggest that you have to think about your everyday acts with ONLY the welfare of your neighbors in mind, but for krissake if you’re a public figure and you go out of your way to cause grief to people you don’t even know whom you’re indirectly likely to hurt in some fashion.

    The thing about tearing out the New Testament is that it was an egotistical and stupid act that can have negative consequences for OTHERS.

    But I would like some tarot cards. Did you ever see those round ones? They’re beautiful; I’d like to make a mobile out of some of them.

  8. Don’t blame people for something that happened before they were born. That is on you.

    He can tear up part of the bible if he wants. Do you get to burn the American flag if you want?

    You people are getting on my nerves. Big damn deal. I’ll send you some Tarot cards if you want them.

  9. “Universal Condemnation” is much better than either civil law or criminal prosecution any day. If we had more of that here for things that are really bad and anti-society and truly “anti-American,” we’d be better off and richer, all around.

  10. Mike S, I agree. My point was that he did something he was free to do, of course, but he was doing something, at the same time, that marked him as a person not to be trusted with the welfare of the state in mind.

  11. Of course the guy was FREE to rip up a copy of the New Testament; it’s not about his FREEDOM it’s about his BEHAVIOR. It was just bad behavior and he was free to commit bad behavior. But the issue is: since he was a Knesset member, what was his POLITICAL act in doing this?

    1. “what was his POLITICAL act in doing this?

      I assume your question is rhetorical. To me he was appealing to the same authoritarian mindset that believes constant Torah study is what protects Israel. Holders of the “TRUE” belief, no matter what that belief is, see all others as specious and therefore it is not bigotry to disparage them. That his act was reckless given his elected position was irrelevant to him, if his action could result in personal political gain.

  12. Hey Hubert, do unto others. A stitch in time saves nine. Jackmehoff is a Jehobas Witness. All in the Old Testament.

  13. Some kook rips up a copy of the number one best seller of all time. I think we have plenty more to spare.

    It’s also humerous to read idiotic comments like Elsie DL who reveals to everyone how much ignorance and biggotry one person can have.

  14. I have had violent thoughts directed at the bible and other religious storybooks but never went as far as to rip one up. Perhaps I ought to try it, release my dislike for it ritually. I may want to start a club so others can join me. I call for ripping up the old testament first though. It is a collection of violent stories and other smut. I’ve always been amazed that the book doesn’t have the following warning on its cover page: “Keep out of the hands of young, impressionable children. “

  15. How glad I was not involved in this one.

    But MikeS said that we should give a pass to stupid things said, just because they are valuable to the broader issue: freedom of speech.

    Shall we all hold ourselves to that principle?

  16. OK Kraaken.

    There are things governments support that are not supported by ANY intelligent citizens. There are things that should be condemned no matter what characteristics the perpetrators share with others. I appreciate your clarification.

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