Israel’s been in the headlines a lot recently – as usual, for all the wrong reasons – so here’s one story you may have overlooked. You were probably better off before:
Many MKs opened their mailboxes on Monday morning and were appalled to find a New Testament inside, sent to them by a messianic organization.
The Bible Society in Israel, a messianic Judaism institution for research, publication and dissemination of holy books, sent a “Book of Testaments,” which combines the Tanach and New Testament in one, leather-bound volume.
In my book, proselytizing is a dick move anywhere – does the world really need more Christians? – but all the more so in Israel: seriously, haven’t you done enough back in Europe?
Christians: sending Bibles to every Member of Knesset makes you look like dicks.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein should press incitement charges against MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) for tearing a New Testament and throwing it in the trash, the Knesset’s sole Christian MK, Hanna Sweid, said.
“This is hooliganism, bullying and an apocalyptic act of hatred that was baseless and unnecessary,” Sweid told The Jerusalem Post after Ben-Ari destroyed the book, which was mailed to all 120 MKs by a messianic Jewish organization.
Citing ‘apocalyptic’ hatred is not likely to make an impression on someone who just ripped up and threw out a New Testament. Indeed, Ben-Ari was unrepentant:
“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.”
According to the National Union MK, The Bible Society wanted to “step on the corpses of the millions of martyrs that were murdered because of their Judaism.”
No matter what you think of proselytizing in Israel, it’s hard to ignore the fact that many of the anti-Semitic incidents Ben-Ari cites included the ritual burning of the Talmud; ripping up a different book in retaliation does not make you the bigger man.
Jews: ripping up the Bible makes you look like dicks.
“I got a copy of the New Testament in the mail, too, but I never thought to rip it up or burn it,” MK Masud Gnaim (United Arab List-Ta’al) said.
“As a Muslim, I respect all religions’ holy books.”
Ganim’s claim that his Muslim faith teaches him to respect the holy books of other religions may be true, but only in a very narrow sense.
It just so happens that Jews and Christians are considered fellow ‘People of the Book’, and so Ganim has no problem with their holy scriptures. Muslims think Jesus and Moses were prophets; as a Muslim, he would consider both the Old and New Testaments holy. As for non-People of the Book – well, Muslims have an illustrious history (and present) of persecuting non-Muslims and destroying their sacred objects. Prefacing that sentence with “As a Muslim” represents the height of disingenuousness.
Muslims: trying to get your religion off on a technicality makes you also look like dicks.
All three religions acting like dicks within a single Jerusalem Post article: the Holy Trinity! At last, some common ground (that doesn’t happen to also be The Holy Land).