Israeli Jews burned copies of the New Testament after a deputy mayor called for a purge of missionary texts.
Israel’s daily Ma’ariv carried a front-page story Tuesday about a bonfire of the New Testament and other Christian texts held in Ohr Yehuda on Monday at the prompting of Deputy Mayor Uzi Aharon.
Asked about Monday’s incident in an Army Radio interview, Aharon acknowledged calling on community members to throw out missionary literature delivered to their homes but denied involvement in the book-burning or knowing that Christian bibles were included. He said he acted alone and not on behalf of the municipality.
A lawyer representing Israel’s messianic Jewish community demanded that police investigate the incident, arguing that it could incite violence.
Aharon noted that Israeli law also places curbs on proselytizing Jews and said those who had distributed the Christian pamphlets in Ohr Yehuda should be prosecuted.