International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Taking a stand against religious intolerance

Israel’s Knesset by night (photo: Wiki Commons/Adiel lo)

By now, some of our Christian friends are doubtless aware that Israeli parliament member Michael Ben-Ari was captured on camera tearing up and throwing in a trash can a copy of the New Testament. Knesset members were sent copies by a Christian group operating in Israel.

Outrage and condemnation have poured in from across the Israeli political spectrum. Left-wing Meretz MK Ilan Gilon said, “it’s shocking that someone like that is a member of Knesset.” Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “”We totally deplore this behavior and condemn it outright. This action stands in complete contrast to our values and our traditions. Israel is a tolerant society, but we have zero tolerance for this despicable and hateful act.”  Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said, “I condemn any disrespect of holy texts of any religion, including ripping the New Testament by an MK yesterday. Democracy is the freedom of speech, but it is not anarchy, and freedom of faith and worship is one of the founding values of this country.”

At The Fellowship and Stand for Israel, we work hard to bring Jews and Christians together. Hateful, stupid acts like the one perpetrated by MK Ben-Ari have no place in civilized society or between our two communities.

Author: Stand For Israel | July 20, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


What do you think?

  • joy
    July 23, 2012
    3:25 pm

    I trust this man isn’t penalised too much, but that at least someone like you Rabbi reads through the New Testament with this man and shows him why Christians are encouraged by this text to love and support Israel

    Reply to this comment »
  • mike
    July 22, 2012
    5:00 pm

    Christians and jews both believe in the old testament. Both christians and jews believe in Jesus Christ but have fundamental differences on that belief.Historically, christians persecuted Jews over this differance. Therefore, for this reason and others I can see how this could have happend.I am an evangelical christian and I hold the belief that I have been grafted into the promise that God has given his people the jews.I realize that both christian and Jew have their own specific purpose in his overall plan. As I live, I choose to be dedicated and obiedient to that promise that our God has made to his chosen people so, that they may fullfill his will. I would hope that this person might be approached with love and understanding over this issue. Also, anyone can say they are christian. The question is How do they show it?

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  • O.
    July 22, 2012
    4:57 pm

    This incident shows a lack of cultural/religious sensitivity on both sides. Christians should have a greater knowledge of Jewish history. Good reaction from the Israeli Government.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Tom
    July 21, 2012
    7:12 am

    Choices made in this life determine eternity in the next. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it. Save it from the slavery of sin, and he gave all of us the right to choose. The Love of Jesus is the truth and the only way. Choose wisely but with your heart. Follow Jesus.

    Reply to this comment »
  • sandra
    July 21, 2012
    2:37 am

    I do agree the text from new-testament should not have been torn apart. Judaism and Christianity are forever intertwined. Ben Ari may have a more radical attitude in this context God can help him too.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Dan C
    July 20, 2012
    8:28 pm

    Actually, my reaction is sadness and regret for the MK. He was probably acting in outrage for what he sees as an attempt at proselytization of Israelis by a group he holds largely responsible for many acts against Jews. Sadly, he is correct that much repression and murders over the years have been perpetrated by those flying the “Christian” banner. Not everyone who claims the name of Christ is a true Christian; and even then we are all fallible. And we will all be held accountable.

    I’m guessing the New Testaments were given by Christians who acted in love, not hatred. It is indeed sad that this divide exists, with so much venom on both sides. The MK’s reaction was, to me at least, somewhat understandable. It is often more difficult for me to deal with some of the ignorance of my fellow Christians. I applaud the IFCJ in your efforts to bridge the gap and find some common ground. Personally, I’m always available to talk to a Jewish person about my faith, and I love hearing a Jewish perspective on scripture. I guess we all just keep trying, and try to react in love when hatred or ignorance rears its head.

    I truly wish Michael Ben-Ari shalom.

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