Statement: A Response to the tearing up and dumping of the New Testament by an Israeli Knesset member, Michael Ben-Ari.
The Heads of Churches in Jerusalem condemn the provocative action of the Knesset member, Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party, who had the audacity to tear up the New Testament in his office and throw it in the trash, saying that the New Testament "belongs in the garbage can of history." Furthermore, Ben-Ari said that: "This abominable book [the New Testament] brought about the murder of millions of Jews".
The Heads of Churches in the Holy Land are shocked by this aggressive behaviour and call upon the government of Israel to censure this action and to ask Mr. Ben Ari to apologize for his misdeed.
At the same time, we thank all our Jewish and Muslim brothers who condemned strongly this action and have shown impressive solidarity with Christian churches. A special word of appreciation goes to his Excellency Mr. Reuven Rivlin who rebuked the said member of Knesset.
May all the Children of Abraham continue to persevere in mutual understanding and respect for their neighbours, who are created in the image and likeness of God.
The Heads of Churches of Jerusalem
+ Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch
+ Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch
+ Patriarch Torkom II Manoogian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch (Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, Patriarchal Vicar)
+ Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+ Archbishop Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+ Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+ Archbishop Abouna Matthias, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+ Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+ Msgr. George Shehan, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+ Bishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+ Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+ Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+ Bishop Joseph Kelekian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate