Israel Police raided the houses of 10 activists of the right-wing racist neo-Kahanist Lehava organization this morning, including the home of Lehava’s chairman, Bentzion “Bentzi” Gopstein, and arrested all 10 men.
Above: Bentzion “Bentzi” Gopstein
Israel Police Raid Homes Of Racist Right-Wing Neo-Kahanist Group, Arrest 10
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel Police raided the houses of 10 activists of the right-wing racist neo-Kahanist Lehava organization this morning, including the home of Lehava’s chairman, Bentzion “Bentzi” Gopstein (sometimes spelled "Gupstein"), and arrested all 10 men, Ynet reported.
The men were arrested for incitement, for calling for racist violence, and for terrorism.
In addition to Gopstein, who lives in the radical West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, Lehava activists were arrested in the cities of Petah Tikva, Netivot, and Jerusalem.
Gopstein's lawyer, Itamar Ben Gvir of the right-wing neo-Kahanist legal aid organization Honenu, claimed that police did extensive damage to Gopstein’s home during the raid and complained that the arrest of Gopstein was politically motivated.
"The politicians from the left applied pressure for the police to act against Lehava, even though it's clear to them that this is a law-abiding organization openly acting against assimilation. This is a disgrace,” Ben Gvir said.
Three Sefardi haredi activists with the group – 22-year-old Yitzhak Gabai of Jerusalem, and brothers 20-year-old Shlomo and 18-year-old Nahman Twito of the haredi settlement of Beitar Illit – were arrested last week and indicted for the arson of the Max Rayne Hand-in-Hand Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem. The three activists – who were photographed laughing and smirking during their last court hearing – have been jailed since their arrest and will be held at least until their trial is over.
Lehava – which was founded and is led by former followers of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane – has staged many racist protests and most notoriously picketed and tried to disrupt a wedding celebration of a Jewish-Arab couple this summer. Group members threatened the couple on social media and bombarded them and their families with threatening and abusive phone calls.
On Saturday night, hundreds of protestors in Jerusalem staged a demonstration calling on the government to outlaw the racist group.