Bentzi Gopstein is a villain. He qualifies as a villain because he and his hate group Lehava incite disenfranchised teenage boys to do his dirty racist work while he goes unpunished.
He condones burning churches. He encourages violence against Israeli non-Jews. We’ve been following, documenting and observing his activities for more than five years. Search for the words “Lehava” and “Gopstein” in our report from last year and you will get the picture.
All Israelis suffer the grim consequences of Gopstein’s and Lehava’s incitement. Their extremism taints us all.
We want to stop this villain. We shouldn’t need superpowers to do it. We want to mobilize the government to use the power already at its disposal to curtail his dangerous activities. Israelis need to know who he is and how he conducts his business.
We have tried to publish what we know in the Israeli media but have found much resistance in the past. “Racism is what is done to us, not what we do to others,” is what we often hear. However, today I want to share with you a success.
We were the focus of a center-page expose article published in last Friday’s Ma’ariv, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, which highlights the escalation of Jewish racial incitement in Israel that is being perpetrated by Gopstein and Lehava. (Read the English translation of the article here.) The article spares no details, and confronts Gopstein head-on. I am very proud that Rabbi Noa Sattath was able to convey the urgency of dealing with this scourge and to point towards the path for healing.
IRAC’s campaign against Lehava and Gopstein is gaining traction in Israel. People have been signing our Hebrew petition demanding that the government take action. A video we recently released about Gopstein’s and Lehava’s activities received more than 120,000 views in its first week online.
We are now widening our campaign overseas. We have launched an English version of our video about Gopstein and Lehava, which you can watch here. We are also asking people around the globe to sign our petition and join those who have already demanded immediate action from the government.
We won’t stop until we will put an end to this violence. Together, we can make it happen.