Michael Ben-Ari is an Ultra-Nationalist member of the Israeli Knesset. He has a history of provocative antics. In early July he entered Nazareth, a predominantly Arab city, and protested the fact that Arabs are not enlisted into the military draft. It seemed to be an attempt to shift the discussion in Israel from the question of Torah students’ enlistment to whether Israel’s Arab citizens should be enlisted as well,
“Why does the demand for ‘equality’ that demands the enlistment of Torah students not include Arabs?”
More recently MK Ben-Ari has come under fire by many in Israel and in the Jewish American community for ripping the New Testatment Bible apart and calling it a “despicable” book.
If a Muslim parliamentarian had acted in a similar manner in say Egypt or Tunisia, rest assured that it would be used as a means of smearing all of Islam and Muslims, as well as used as evidence of the “war on Christians” narrative that we see pushed by Islamophobes. (h/t: Alfred from Kenya)
JERUSALEM, July 17 – An Israeli lawmaker tore up a copy of the New Testament to protest against the dissemination of the “despicable book,” which was sent to members of parliament by a Christian organisation.
MP Michael Ben Ari of the ultra-nationalist National Union opposition party was one of the Knesset members who received by mail on Monday a copy of the “Book of Testaments.”
It contains the Jewish Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament, and the New Testament, the Gospels and epistles of the Christian faith written after the time of Jesus.
A letter sent with the book from the Bible Society in Israel director Victor Kalisher said the new edition “sheds light on the holy scriptures and helps understand them. In addition, the references show the close correlation” between the two.
“We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way,” Kalisher wrote.
A picture published on Israeli news website NRG-Maariv taken by Ben Ari’s aide shows the lawmaker tearing up the book.
“This despicable book galvanised the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances,” he was quoted as saying in reference to the New Testament.