AJC Decries Lehava Incitement against Christians in Israel

Dec 22, 2015, 08:52 ET from American Jewish Committee

JERUSALEM, Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC strongly condemns Lehava leader Bentzi Gopstein for his incendiary words threatening Christians in Israel, and urges Israeli authorities to take appropriate actions against him.

"The boundless hatred that infuses Gopstein and Lehava is a chilul haShem, a desecration of Judaism, contrary to the founding values of the state of Israel," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's International Director of Interreligious Affairs.

"Israel is proudly the only country in the region where Christians live safely and practice their faith freely," Rosen said. Approximately 160,000 Israeli citizens, or 2 percent of the population, is Christian.

"Indeed, Christian-Jewish relations in Israel and around the world are stronger and more cooperative than ever," said Rosen.

In an op-ed on the ultra-Orthodox website Kooker, Gopstein called Christianity an "accursed religion," Christians "blood-sucking vampires," and called for Christians to be expelled from Israel. "Christmas has no place in the Holy Land," Gopstein wrote.

"Gopstein's venemous attack on Christians, only days before Christmas, is appalling," said Rosen.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee