Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein.
(photo credit: ARIK SULTAN)
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Jerusalem summoned extreme right-wing activist Bentzi Gopstein to a pre-indictment court hearing on Monday where he faces charges of incitement to terrorism, violence and racism, as well as obstruction of justice.
The prosecution collected numerous remarks made by Gopstein in the media and on social networks in which he called for violence, incited racism and “expressed his support for the terrorist acts committed by Baruch Goldstein,” who killed 29 Palestinians in the Cave of the Patriarchs in February 1994.
Gopstein recently attended a wedding in Modi’in Illit, in which he held the microphone and sang a song praising Goldstein.
“Baruch the man [‘Baruch Hagever,’ in reference to a quote from the book of Jeremiah], entered the cave, loaded his weapon and started shooting,” he sang, according to the allegations.
In another incident, when several Jewish youths attacked three young Arabs – in which one was seriously injured – Gopstein said: “The police and the media are lynching Jewish young men… It seems that they [the young men] were picking up Jewish dignity from the floor, and did what police should have done in the first place – serving justice to the Arab vandals who were bothering Jewish girls.
“It’s a shame that they are letting the [young] men do it, and [that] the police are not [handling the situation].
A young Arab who wants to look for a girl should look in his own village, and not come to Jerusalem,” he said.
Gopstein is also suspected of directing a right-wing activist to delete Facebook content about the Jerusalem bilingual school arson, which was done according to the prosecutor “to mislead a legal procedure by hiding evidence.”
In response to the prosecutor’s decision, Gopstein said on Twitter: “Democracy? You make me laugh.”
His attorney Itamar Ben- Gvir said that this is a “baseless indictment document,” and that “cases of Arabs and left-wing activists have been closed for doing worse things.”
Two weeks ago Gopstein was arrested, along with 14 other activists from his group, for allegedly threatening Palestinians who were dating or in contact with Jewish women. They were questioned by police and released that same day.
Gopstein later vowed: “We will continue saving the daughters of Israel.”
“Lehava is operating in a lawful way and it will continue to do so. [The police] are blaming me for calling a girl and telling her that she shouldn’t date an Arab.
“It is all nonsense,” he said.