Member of Knesset, Michael Ben Ari, of the National Union right wing religious party, stated Tuesday that the Pope Benedict XVI, scheduled to arrive in the region next week, is not welcome in Israel as he is “a holocaust denier and a former member of the Nazi’s Youth Movement”.
Ari added that if Israel welcomes the Pope it would be ignoring millions of Jews killed by the Nazis as the “Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth”.
The MK also called on Israeli members of Knesset to rethink the visit, and added that MK’s should not welcome the Pope in the country.
Furthermore, Ari stated that when Benedict XVI was elected as the Pope, he “brought back to the Catholic Church, priests to deny the Holocaust and renewed the accusation that the Jews murdered Jesus”, Haaretz stated,
He added that the Knesset House Committee prevented the discussion of this issue and slammed the right wing Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party and other ultra-Orthodox parties for not backing his statements.
Ari also accused the Catholic Church of being driven by anti-Semitic motivations.
Kadima MK, Roni Bar-On, stated that the statement of the Ari could cause serious conflicts and set the Middle East ablaze.
It is worth mentioning that Ari is a former member of the Kach movement which is outlawed by Israel and considered regarded by the country as a terrorist group.