MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), a member of the Israeli parliament tore up a copy of the New Testament and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on camera.As for the National Union party that Mr. Ben Ari represents, its platform, ironically, contains much that Christians can agree with:
Ben Ari and several other Knesset members received by mail on Monday a copy of the New Testament, sent by the Bible Society in Israel, an organization that distributes religious books.
In the letter sent with the book, director of the Christian organization Victor Kalisher wrote that the new edition “sheds light on the Holy Scriptures and helps understand them."
“We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way,” Kalisher furter wrote.
However, while most MK's chose to ignore the book or return it to its sender, the rightist lawmaker chose to term the book a "provocation," tore it up into shreds and then threw it out.
“This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances,” Ben Ari said adding that “Sending the book to MK's is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.”
Meanwhile, MK Ilan Gilon (Mertez) condemned Ben Ari's actions, saying "it's shocking that someone like that is a member of Knesset."
"One could compare his actions to those of an extreme MP abroad tearing up the Bible. We would all cry out if that happened," he said.
Government spokesman Mark Regev 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."
The party aims to represent a broad consensus in the Israeli public which believes in the vital importance of safeguarding the security and national heritage of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. The party remains true to the ideals that have always defined Israel’s national camp
The party states that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people in the State of Israel. The party demands free construction in all parts of the city to ensure its unity and relocating all official Israeli bureaus, institutions and public organizations to Jerusalem. The party insists that all foreign embassies and consulates be established only in Jerusalem. The party will fight for guaranteed free access to all holy places, particularly the Jews' right to pray on Temple Mount. The party will work to prevent any illegal building by Arabs in east Jerusalem and in the areas of Judea and Samaria surrounding the city.
The party states that Israel's security cannot be met simply through a political solution, but that Israel must prevail militarily, since allowing the Arab war of attrition to drag on, threatens to weaken Israel, ruin its economy and encourage its Arab citizens to cultivate hostility against the people of Israel.
Israel must adhere to the following principles: The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is intertwined with their right to peace and security; all past agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are null and void; Israel must strive to achieve peace with all its neighbors, but not at the price of security for its citizens; no foreign state will be formed between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The party vows to preserve Israel's Jewish and Zionist character. The party will demand that no political faction be allowed to bid for Knesset seats unless it affirms Israel's Jewish nature. The party will push for safeguarding and strengthening Israel's Jewish nature through religious legislation and a wide consensus.
The party regrets and condemns the uprooting and forced transfer of thousands of Jews from their homes in the Gaza and northern Samaria region and demands that no other government, no matter which party heads it, will ever again uproot any Jewish community or surrender parts of the Land of Israel.
The party believes in compulsory Military or National Service. While study of Torah is necessary in order to preserve the Jewish people's heritage, the unequal shouldering of mandatory service is unacceptable. The party will support and encourage frameworks offering a combination of military service and Torah study such as the hesder yeshivas and the Nahal Haredi Units.
The party states that Israel's foreign policy should focus on safeguarding Israel's sovereignty, while pursuing peace with the sorrounding Arab nations by means of "peace for peace." The National Union believes Israel should reinforce its ties with Jewish communities in the Diaspora; as well as its ties with African, Asian and European nations, in the interest of advancing its political and economic interests.
The National Union sees settlements as the realization of Zionism and a way for the Jewish people to ensure their hold on the land. The party sees the act of settling as crucial to Israel's economic and social wellbeing and will demand the expansion of the enterprise.
The party will push for the allocation of funds to the Negev and Galilee areas and for the developments of their industrial and agricultural areas. The party will push to ensure more Jews settle in the Galilee area and will act to abolish illegal construction in both regions.
The National Union will oppose any negotiation process suggesting Israel relinquish the Golan Heights in any way. The party will push for the allocation of additional development funds for the area. The party will support improving the status of the Druze residents of the Golan; while simultaneously giving local authorities increase mandate to thwart any pro-Syrian activity.
The party believes Israel's economy should be founded on principles of morality, social justice and strive to reduce our financial dependence on the United States. The party's financial creed calls for drastically reducing the government and public-sector machinery; encouraging private business activity; privatizing government companies and promoting national projects on a large scale.