SWC Calls on Knesset Member to Apologize For Desecrating Christian Bible

July 18, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Michael Ben-Ari, a member (MK) of the Israeli Parliament, to apologize for ripping pages from a Christian Bible. Ben-Ari, along with other members of Knesset, was sent a new Hebrew edition of the Christian bible. Ben-Ari was furious over what he saw as a continuation of centuries of missionizing to Jews in the name of Christianity.

“There is no excuse for abusing the sacred scripture of any other religion,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director of Interfaith Affairs of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Israel from its inception guarantees religious freedoms and mutual respect for holy sites and objects of all its citizens. Israelis of all persuasions and backgrounds welcome the friendship and support of members of all faiths. Thank G-d Israel is not Saudi Arabia, where keeping a Christian Bible, let alone a Torah, Talmud or Siddur is a criminal offense. We urge MK Ben-Ari to apologize for his act and to find appropriate ways to strengthen Jewish identity and loyalty.”

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).