[quote=the CNN article]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.
[quote=the CNN article]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.
[quote=the CNN article]About 200 New Testaments were burned, Aharon said, but he saved another 200.
His goal was to stop attempts to distribute Christian literature in the city, he said.
[quote=the CNN article]The deputy mayor told CNN he respects the New Testament and would not do what has been done to the Jews in the past – a reference to Nazi burning of Jewish and other books in the 1930s, and other occasions when Jewish texts, including sacred ones, were burned.
The incident certainly looks bad, but it is a bit hard to evaluate motives when we are several thousand miles away.