Religious Israeli lawmaker tears up New Testament

Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli lawmaker has torn up a copy of the New Testament in front of cameras in his parliament office.

An aide says Christian missionaries mailed the Christian scripture to Michael Ben-Ari of the ultranationalist National Union Party.

Itamar Ben-Gvir said Ben-Ari, an Orthodox Jew, was enraged to receive the book, in whose name he says millions of Jews were slaughtered. Ben-Ari tore it up, he said, then posed for photographs with the destroyed Bible.

Many Christians over the centuries persecuted Jews, holding them responsible for Jesus' crucifixion.

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."

View Comments (5024)