Israeli leader calls Christianity “that accursed religion”
Ben-Zion Gopstein, leader of Lehava, says Christians are “blood-sucking vampires"
By Michael Hoffman
Jerusalem, December 22, 2015 — The head of the Israeli “Lehava,” an Orthodox Judaic organization, has called Christians "blood-sucking vampires." Ben-Zion ("Bentzi") Gopstein has published an op-ed calling for Christians to be expelled from the Israeli state. Gopstein, leader of the Talmudic Lehava organization, wrote the article published on the rabbinic Orthodox “Kooker” website denouncing the “lack of spiritual security” he’s felt in Jerusalem of late because of “our deadly centuries-old enemy — the Christian church.”
In November Lehava protesters headed by Gopstein demonstrated outside a Christmas event at Jerusalem’s YMCA, decrying what they termed the “murder” of Jewish souls. Shouting, “You murdered us in exile,” and condemning European accusations of Judaic ritual murder and "persecution of the Jews," the group waved Israeli flags and sang Hanukkah songs outside the venue, with some signs urging all the “impure” Christians to leave the Holy Land.
In his "Kooker" article published December 17 in Israeli-Hebrew, Gopstein called the establishment of the Israeli state in the mid-20th century, “The most ringing slap in the face the Church ever received,” after centuries of alleged failed attempts to eliminate the “ ews." Since violent methods failed, Gopstein writes, “It was decided to invest billions of dollars over the years in order to gain a foothold in the Holy Land and disseminate spiritual poison” through missionary work.
“The Christian is no longer considered a threatening vampire, rather a pleasant, friendly tourist and partner in the Western culture that dominates our lives,” he said, blaming the Israeli education system for not instilling enough Judaic education in students. “The vampires can send a message of thanks to the government of Israel for making their work much easier.”
He called on all Jews to raise a cry “and fight the devious phenomenon,” referring to Christianity as “that accursed religion.”
“Christmas has no place in the Holy Land,” he concluded. “Missionary work must not be given a foothold. Let’s throw the vampires out of our land before they drink our blood again.”
Gopstein's Lehava organization was established to prevent marriage between Judaic persons and Arabs, which is prohibited according to rabbinic law. The group has been seen patrolling Jerusalem on some evenings, looking for integrated couples. Their vigilante patrols have often degenerated into physical attacks, and there were several instances over the past year where members of the organization have beaten Arabs.
Advocates the burning of churches
At a panel debate on an arson attack at the Catholic Church of the Multiplication in the Galilee by Judaic terrorists in June, Gopstein declared that rabbinic law mandates the burning of Christian houses of worship. He cited Rabbi Moses Maimonides as urging that churches be burned. Asked if he was encouraging the burning of churches, Gopstein replied, “Of course I am.”
Two Judaic suspects, both subscribing to the anti-Christian ideology of Talmudic Judaism, were arrested in July for their alleged role in the arson attack. Yinon Reuveni and Yehuda Asraf are suspected of vandalizing the church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Gopstein was arrested and then released in 1990 in a case involving the murder of an Arab couple. The crime has never been solved.