'Missionary work in Israel a silent Holocaust'

Lehava activists protest missionary event in Jerusalem.

Eliran Aharon,

Lehava's Bentzi Gophstain during anti-missionary demonstration
Lehava's Bentzi Gophstain during anti-missionary demonstration
Eliran Aharon

Dozens of activists from the Lehava anti-assimilation organization demonstrated Thursday evening outside of a missionary conference in Jerusalem.

The activists, led by Lehava founder Bentzi Gophstain, attempted to enter the building where the conference was being held, but we’re prevented from doing so by the police.

The missionary event involved both Arab and Jewish youth, attracting attendees with musical performances while disseminating missionary material. The Lehava demonstrators outside of the building warned those planning on entering the “performance” of the event’s religious nature, dissuading some from participating.

Earlier on Thursday, Jerusalem councilman Aryeh King warned that the event constituted a major escalation in missionary activity.

“This represents a major foothold by an organization whose activities are targeting young people, attempting to convert them to [another religion].”

“The fact that the event took place in a municipal complex doesn’t surprise me, I’m sad to say, given the policies of the mayor [who intends] to turn Jerusalem into a multi-cultural city, and hide its uniqueness as the Jewish capital.”

Gophstain slammed Thursday’s missionary event, calling it an open attempt to uproot Judaism.

“What the Christians failed to do to the Jews with the Inquisition they are now doing through the silent Holocaust of missionary [conversion] work. Who would have believed that the Jerusalem municipality would legitimize such a serious event in the holy city?”