Left-wingers to demonstrate against Lehava

Left-wing groups to demonstrate Thursday against Lehava's activities which 'spread fear and hatred to banish Arabs from central Jerusalem.'

Yoel Domb,

Lehava's Bentzi Gophstain (second from left)
Lehava's Bentzi Gophstain (second from left)
Miriam Tzachi

Left-wing activists activists are planning to demonstrate Thursday in Zion Square in central Jerusalem, claiming lack of will on the part of authorities to tackle the Lehava anti-assimilation organization.

The demonstration was initiated by the Reform Center for Religion and State and the following organizations also signed on the call to take part: The Coalition against Racism, Tag Meir- Light Instead of Terror, the Jerusalem Forum, The Yerusalmim movement, Oz Ve'Shalom - Netivot Shalom, the Truth Center for Tolerance, Rabbis For Human Rights, and Shatil - the New Israel Fund.

"From Zion Square we will go for a protest march against the violence of Lehava and the impotence of the police, the Prosecutor and the Attorney-General in fighting racism. Together we will bring a message of peace and brotherhood and will fight to return the center of town to its place as a secure and joint area for everyone," said initiators.

Rabbi Ronen Lubitch, head of the Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah movement and rabbi of Nir Etzion, also published a special declaration on the subject.

"Enough racism, enough violence! This is a call which unites all of us, every sane person in Israeli society, whatever his political views are and let us hope that our voice will become the dominant one in the Israeli street," said Rabbi Lubitch.

The Lehava organization rejected the criticism and lashed out against the demonstration's planners.

"Lehava is constantly involved in saving Jewish girls. This week alone we managed to persuade four girls to return to the people of Israel and they join dozens of girls and women saved this year. Apparently there are some Reform people who want to encourage assimilation and others who do not like what we do and try unsuccessfully to harass our activities. We are proud that the Reform and their friends have chosen to fight with us. It is an honor for us."




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