Rabbi Bentzi Goldstein, leader of Lehava
Fr. Pietro Felet, Secretary General for the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, filed a complaint to Israeli authorities against Rabbi Goldstein and his ultraorthodox Jewish group Lehava for inciting hatred against Christians. Goldstein has a reputation in Israel for calling for acts of violence against Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.
Recently Goldstein stated that “churches and mosques could be burned”, even mentioning that “Jewish law advocated destroying the land of idolatry”. Ministter of Defense Moshe Ya’alon issued a request to label Lehava a terrorist organization back in January. It is still up for consideration. Goldstein is known as a sworn disciple of Meir Kahane, an American-Israeli rabbi from Brooklyn, who founded the Kach Party which is labeled both by the United States and Israel as a terrorist organization. Kahane also founded the Jewish Defense League, another terrorist organization. Goldstein is hence affiliated with Kahanism, appropriately named after Kahane, for his Goldstein’s similar far-right views of anti-assimilation in the Holy Land including the violent expulsion of Muslims and Christians.
The article states, “Catholic concern is mounting as security challenges by Jewish extremists are growing with respect to religious buildings and Christians in areas under Israel’s sovereignty or control.” Like I mentioned earlier, Jewish extremists vandalized a number of churches and mosques. This can be evidence of a growing Jewish extremist problem as Christians are facing more and more attacks from Jews in Israel. On one side the far-left Jews attack Christianity through the media and on the other side the far-right Jews attack Christianity with violence and insults. This reminds me of what Christ said to His disciples, “They will expel you from the synagogues” (John 16:2). In the early days of Christianity, this literally happened when the first Christians — who were Jews — were expelled from the synagogues; now this sometimes occurs when Christians are expelled from their own churches by Jewish nationalists. Christ further warned that one who attacks Christians “will think he is offering worship to God” (ibid). Jihadi Muslims and Jewish nationalists for example think they are repressing Christians for God.
The Catholic Church of the Latin rite says the following prayer for the Jews every Good Friday liturgy.
“Let us pray also for the Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise. Almighty and eternal God, who dost also not exclude from thy mercy the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.”