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Daily Israel Report

Mailmen Refuse to Deliver 'New Testament'

MK Orlev says Communications Minister and Postal Service agreed to halt distribution of missionary material.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/5/2012, 2:11 PM

Missionary James Joseph, aka 'the Jesus guy'
Missionary James Joseph, aka 'the Jesus guy'
Flash 90

Dozens of mail deliverers who were supposed to deliver copies of the Christian "New Testament" Bible to homes in Ramat Gan refused to do so, arguing that the deliveries constituted "missionary material."

The mail deliverers said that distributing missionary material is forbidden by Jewish law (Halakha) and may also be against state law. They therefore asked that a legal inquiry be held before taking a decision on whether to hand out the Bibles.

The postal workers contacted MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) and asked him to assist them vis-à-vis the Postal Authority, which they say demands that they "do their job" and distribute the material that was sent.

MK Orlev spoke with Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud), as well as with the director of the ministry and the Postal Service chairman. He asked that delivery of the books be halted until the legal inquiry into the matter is completed. Orlev reported that both Kahlon and the Postal Service chairman agreed to temporarily halt the distribution.

Contradicting Orlev's version, the Postal Service stated in a response that "The Israel Postal Service Ltd. Is a government company that operates in accordance with the Postal Service Law, which obligates it to distribute any mail that is given to it for distribution. The Postal Service does not have the right or the ability to sort through the mail in order to decide what to distribute and what not to. For this reason, in this case, too, the posted items will be distributed in accordance with our legal obligation."