Yesterday, I posted about Christophobia among the Israeli settler set, which has led to scores of hate crimes against Christians in Israel. This has included church burnings, graffiti desecration, physical assaults on priests, and a bombing which left one Christian permanently maimed. In the comment thread, someone mentioned that the most recent attack was last month at the hands of the brutalists of Lehava, which I’ve chronicled here.
A month ago, Jerusalem celebrated Manofim, the 8th annual Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival. The event is primarily arts focused. Part of the celebration involved a public performance at a Jerusalem mall by a series of local choirs, one of which was from the Armenian church. The audience listened to the choirs from the various circular floors of the mall as they performed on the ground floor. All the songs sung were in Hebrew and none were on a specifically Christian theme.
But those Lehava dunderheads didn’t let that stop them. They accused the entire musical performance of being “Christian” and said it was devoted to missionizing Jews. Apparently they misread the phrase “polyphonic dialogue” as “polytheism” and believed the singers intended to re-establish pre-Israelite pagan idolator worship(!) Lehava claimed the evangelical intent was clear from the concert program itself. You can read it displayed here you’ll see there isn’t an iota of truth to any of it. In fact, one of the organizers of the event told the Israeli press that Lehava’s actions were a “desecration of God’s name.”
The protesters shouted and disrupted the performance, screaming “Christians, get out, go to Syria” and “Jew-killers” at the performers and audience. The police were called. They took their sweet time, which further sabotaged the performance. In the meantime, the Armenian choir could not complete its second song and was forced to leave the building for fear of further physical assault. Organizers of the festival expressed shock and shame that a cultural project was turned into a spectacle of hate, which tarnished the reputation of Jerusalem for being a city of many cultures and religions.
This desecration of a beautiful musical performance by pogromists reminds me of the German saying mistakenly attributed to Hermann Goring: “When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my gun.” Israel is no longer a culture of music and art, but a ‘culture’ of brutalism and the gun.
An Israeli colleague has unearthed video of the aftermath of that incident. In it, you’ll see Lehava’s SS commander, Bentzi Gopstein bellowing like a wounded bull. His supporters shout at the top of their lungs at the police: “Free him, free him!” They blow whistles and sing patriotic songs off-key, as if they were at a Beitar Jerusalem soccer match. Gopstein is surrounded by a gaggle of police who don’t seem to know what to do with him. They haven’t a clue where to take him and seem to wander aimlessly for minutes at a time before they finally cart him off to the hoosegow. Admittedly, Gopstein is a man of considerable girth and it would be difficult to move his against his will. But with ten policemen at hand, that should’ve been eminently possible.
In the meantime, one can hear faintly in the background the sound of heavenly voices emanating from the choir performing. What are they singing? The Psalm Hallelujah from the Book of Psalms. They sing it in a beautiful Hebrew as well. Desecration indeed.
This is Israel folks. Liberal Zionists may argue all they wish about these imbeciles being aberrations in the Israeli polity. They can call them extremists and wax on about how tolerant the rest of Israel is. But I’m having none of it. If you watch the police you can see that they don’t know what to do with Gopstein. If they had their choice he would burn down the entire performance and the space in which it’s being held. Of course, this is a bit of projection on my part. But the proof is in the abysmal rate of prosecution of crimes committed by animals like Gopstein and the like. Israeli police are generally corrupt, inept and brutal. But in the case of Jewish extremists they are even worse. They throw up their hands and say: “what do you want us to do?” In other words, do nothing.
And yes, there are a few exceptional cases in which the world clamors for justice and the police arises from its torpor and performs in a manner that reasonably approximates a functioning police force (note that they did this only after they’d accused the 16 year old victim of being gay and murdered by his family in an honor killing). No sooner is this complete than it returns to its slumber.
In the meantime, Sonderkommando aktion like this one only burnish the credentials of such fools. Friends, this is Munich 1928. This concert was the Munich beer hall putsch. This is how Hitler got his start. Within a decade, Gopstein will be prime minister. Yehuda Glick will be defense minister. The Haram al Sharif will be bulldozed and Israel will be swept in a regional religious holy war. Dystopian? Perhaps. Or prophetic…