Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) issued the following statement in response to comments made by Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein, a leader in Israeli extremist group Lehava, in support of the arson attack of the Church of the Multiplication in the Galilee.
“The JCPA strongly condemns the abhorrent distortion of the founding principles of the State of Israel and the commandments of the Torah that Lehava has used to justify the unconscionable and criminal burnings of churches in Israel. We find these views to be repugnant, dangerous, and a complete perversion of our values and those upon which Israel was founded. We appreciate the repudiations of Gopstein’s remarks that have come from the Prime Minister and other Israeli leaders. We join in a call for public education regarding the dangers of extremism, increased security for all houses of worship, vigorous investigations of all past attacks where arrests have not been made, and prosecution and sentencing of all those found guilty commensurate with the terrorist nature of their acts.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.