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Vatican urges Israel to indict Jewish extremist

August 11, 2015 at 9:18 am

The Vatican’s Custody of the Holy Land has called on the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to indict the head of the extremist Jewish group Lehava, Bentzi Gopstein, for inciting racism and calling for churches to be burnt, Haaretz reported.

In a letter to Weinstein, the Vatican’s representative in Israel Farid Jubran said: “I implore you to employ all the legal measures at your disposal. Mr Gopstein’s incitement puts churches and Christian communities in a clear and present danger.”

Jubran said legal action was necessary “out of consideration of the public interest and of the present danger to churches and Christian communities in the country, and the real concern of further harm to them as a result of this incitement.”

The Vatican’s representative said Feinstein received the findings of an investigation into Lehava but he has not acted on the results. “This procrastination could be interpreted by someone as flaccidity by law enforcement officials, if not a seal of approval for the racist provocation from Lehava,” he said.

“This isn’t a time for procrastination, delays and helplessness! This is a time for determined and uncompromising action by law enforcement authorities under your leadership. The writing is on the wall, and a cost to human life, with consequences which cannot be foretold, isn’t a question of if but of when,” he added.

He went on to mention a number of hate crimes committed by Jewish groups against Christian churches and monasteries, the most recent being the burning of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish in Tabgha.