Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book Burning in Israel

I had a hard time believing this story when I first spotted it on another blog this afternoon, mainly because the last people in the world I would have expected to be guilty of a mass book-burning incident would be the Jews of Israel. Even if I ignore all the implications about religious freedom, it still bothers me that people who just two or three generations ago suffered this kind of thing themselves would even consider it today. has the details that were missing from the blogger's piece, so this must be for real:
Police in Israel are investigating the burning of hundreds of New Testaments in a city near Tel Aviv, an incident that has alarmed advocates of religious freedom.

Investigators plan to review photographs and footage showing "a fairly large" number of New Testaments being torched this month in the city of Or-Yehuda, a police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said Wednesday.

News accounts in Israel have quoted Uzi Aharon, the deputy mayor of Or-Yehuda, as saying he organized students who burned several hundred copies of the New Testament. The deputy mayor gave interviews to Israeli radio and television stations after word of the incident surfaced about two weeks ago.

Soon he was talking with Russian, Italian and French television stations, "explaining to their highly offended audiences back home how he had not meant for the Bibles to be burned, and trying to undo the damage caused by the news (and photographs) of Jews burning New Testaments," The Jerusalem Post reported.

Aharon told CNN on Wednesday that he collected New Testaments and other "Messianic propaganda" that had been handed out in the city but that he did not plan or organize a burning. Instead, he said, three teenagers set fire to a pile of New Testaments while he was not present. Once he learned what was going on, he said, he stopped the burning.
This is just so many ways.


  1. I agree, Sylvia. I still find it hard to believe that this happened there, of all places.

  2. Annie, this kind of thing makes me wonder if ANYONE ever really learns the lessons of the past.

  3. So much for tolerance. Maybe the ADL should get involved!

  4. Anonymous, the irony of the situation is, indeed, enormous.