UK Friends of Israel chair apologizes for burning New Testament
The chair of the “Friends of Israel” caucus of Britain’s UK Independence party (UKIP) apologized recently for tweeting a picture of himself burning a New Testament.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports that Shneur Odze, a candidate for mayor of Manchester, found the New Testament in his synagogue.
He took the offending volume outside and set it on fire, then posted photos of the book burning and wrote on Twitter: “Grateful to whoever put a missionary bible amongst our synagogue’s books. Was wondering what I’d burn my Chametz with.”
According to JTA, Odze “felt he had no choice but to burn the book because he did not want to pass on what he believes is false religion to someone else and said that throwing a religious text in the garbage was distasteful, especially because it also contains the Five Books of Moses.”
The Times of Israel reports that the New Testament was in a Hebrew-English Bible published by the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures, and had been placed in the synagogue without permission by a member of the Christian group.
JTA reports that Odze, a former city councilman for north London for the Conservative Party, is a rabbi and member of Chabad-Lubavitch.
Parliament Today reported in 2014 that at a UKIP Friends of Israel reception, Rabbi Odze said: “UKIP doesn’t just talk the talk on its support for the people of Israel. Only last week UKIP Councillors in Dudley blocked an attempt by Labour to impose a sanctions policy on the Council. It was UKIP Councillors in Dudley that had this proposal quashed. And it is UKIP Councillors who are leading the fight against anti-Semitism in town halls across the country.”
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