'The state is doing the bidding of the Reform Movement'

Wife of anti-assimilation activist slams police, 'pro-Reform' government. 'Not intermarrying is more important than love.'

David Rosenberg ,

Bentzi and Anat Gopstein
Bentzi and Anat Gopstein

The wife of an anti-assimilation activist arrested overnight accused the state of ignoring the problem of assimilation inside of Israel and of serving the interests of the Reform Movement rather than the needs of its own people.

Anat Gopstein, a resident of the Givat Avot neighborhood in Kiryat Arba who together with her husband Bentzi Gopstein leads the Lehava anti-assimilation organization, spoke with 103 FM Sunday morning, just hours after her husband and more than a dozen other Lehava activists were arrested in overnight raids.

During the interview Sunday, Gopstein recalled the predawn police raid.

“At 4:30 in the morning officers knocked at our door, waking up everyone in the house; at the same time they were arresting four other members of the organization [not including others arrested in Itamar, in Samaria].”

Gopstein blasted the government, accusing it of doing the bidding of the Reform Movement, which has lobbied for criminal prosecution against Lehava.

“The state is working on behalf of the Reform Movement, which is fighting against us; they are the enemies of the state.”

Later in the interview, Gopstein defended her organization’s work to discourage intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in Israel, and rejected claims that Lehava is biased against Arabs.

“A girl who falls in love with an Arab removes herself from the Jewish people – but it doesn’t matter if he’s an Arab or a Swede. We are fighting against all assimilation in the name of Judaism.”

According to Gopstein, Lehava has been overwhelmed recently by appeals from friends and family of young Jews – mostly young women – who are involved romantically with non-Jews.

“We get thousands of calls from parents and other relatives who want to protect them [their children or relatives] from assimilation.”

“Fighting assimilation is more important than love,” Gopstein added. “Every girl who dates an Arab suffers from severe abuse, both physical and psychological. I’ve never seen an Arab who doesn’t beat his wife, and I know a lot of Arabs.”