Police threaten Bentzi Gopshtain over soccer game

Lehava leader threatened with court proceedings if he 'breaks any law' or 'disturbs the peace' during Beitar Jerusalem game.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky ,

Bentzi Gopshtain
Bentzi Gopshtain
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Lehava chairman Bentzi Gopshtain received a warning call from the Israel Police Sunday morning, from an officer who identified himself as "Boaz" and claimed to be from the Moriah intelligence unit. 

The officer stated that he understood that Gopshtain had plans to attend a Beitar Jerusalem-Bnei Sakhnin soccer game Sunday night, and wished him best wishes - and issued a number of warnings.

"I'm calling to warn you not to break any law, not to start any provocations, not to violate public order - and if you do so we will take action against you according to law," the officer said. 

After Gopshtain expressed unease over the conversation, and said he simply wanted to attend the game, the officer added, "I would like you, just like every spectator, not to provoke, not to call out racial epithets and not to break any law - nor on the field or outside it."

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir blasted the call as an "attempt to intimidate viewers at a soccer game," and noted that even those who are not involved in "activities for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel," is "unacceptable and serious." 

He added that the police have not called up Sakhnin fans and made similar demands, and that there are concerns that the Jerusalem police were exhibiting signs of racism against Jews. 

"I hope that for the Jerusalem police, waving the flag of Israel is not a crime," Gopshtain stated to Arutz Sheva Sunday. "I'll be attending the game with Lehava members, and we will be making clear: this is a Jewish state."