Sparring: Members of the Lehava movement protest. A sign reads, ‘Father, where is my mother?’.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An unidentified 20-year-old female member of the radical right-wing group Lehava was indicted at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday for illegal possession of ammunition, after 12 bullets were found in her home.
While the indictment was not readily available, and it remains unclear when she was arrested, or why she was storing the .22-caliber bullets, Lehava, a hate group that opposes all Israeli Arabs, Christians, and the LGBT community, has a rich record of intolerance and violence.
Lehava propagates the racist ideology of the late Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane, who was assassinated in New York City in 1990 after his radical Kach Party was outlawed in Israel for inciting hate.
Last month, 30 members of Lehava were arrested for attempting to disrupt the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade – one year after the group plastered posters throughout the capital exonerating Yishai Schlissel for murdering 16-year-old Shira Banki, and stabbing six others, during the procession.
In August of last year, Lehava’s leader Bentzi Gopstein made international headlines when the Vatican requested that Israel’s attorney general indict Gopstein for incitement after he praised the June arson attack at the Church of the Loaves and Fishes
in the Galilee.
Gopstein was detained in the West Bank following incendiary comments he made during a videotaped panel discussion with yeshiva students in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, two brothers associated with Lehava were sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison by Jerusalem District Court for vandalizing and setting a classroom on fire at the nation’s largest Jewish-Arab school
Nahman and Shlomo Twito, aged 18 and 22 respectively, from the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit, confessed to the November 29 hate crime that targeted the Jewish-Arab Max Rayne Hand in Hand School in southern Jerusalem.
After setting a preschool classroom on fire, the brothers spray-painted Hebrew graffiti on the school’s interior walls stating “Kahane was right,” “You can’t coexist with a cancer,” “Enough with assimilation” and “Death to Arabs.”
Gopstein and nine other members of Lehava were arrested and released following a protracted investigation into the hate crime.