Rachel Mader, head of Criminal Prosecution in the Israeli prosecutor’s office, announced this week that the case against one Benzi Gopstein “was transferred to the police with instructions from the prosecution.” Behind this laconic announcement, which was celebrated by the likes of Ha’aretz, is the never-ending struggle between Israel’s majority rightwing, religious-traditional Jews and a minority coalition of anti-Zionist, anti-Orthodox leftwing Jews and non-Jews, over control of the country.
Naturally, in a country without a constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech, the policeman is king. Israel, which prides itself on being the only democracy for as far as the eye can see, from the planes of Mongolia to the Sahara desert, has an awful lot of laws that protect the honor and sensibilities of an awful lot of people: religions, nations, public officials, at the expense of the individual’s right to speak their mind. A case in point is an order from the prosecutor general’s office to police to investigate Lehava Chairman Benzi Gopstein over an article he published in the ultra-Orthodox website Kooker last December, where he wrote the following ideas (we intentionally bring the full citations, rather than tell the reader in a couple of words, out of context, what Gopstein has written):
1. “The Church was defeated decidedly, and when the nation of Israel now has one of the strongest armies in the world, they no longer have a chance to destroy us physically. But they haven’t given up. They have one last hope, those blood sucking vampires — the missionaries. If they can’t kll the Jews, they can still try and convert them to Christianity. This is why it has been decided over the years to invest billions [to enable the missionaries] to gain a foothold in the holy land where they would spread their spiritual poison.”
2. “I hereby call on every Jew from whichever sector, anyone who cares about the survival of the Jewish people, anyone who still has a Jewish heart of days past, anyone who still has a fundamental Jewish loathing for Christianity, and everyone who has enough sense to understand the danger of today’s missionaries — I call on all of them to cry out and fight this repugnant phenomenon in the best Jewish tradition, before all of us will have turned — including the mitzvah observers among us — into a band of flatterers. There’s no room for “Christmas” in the holy land. The missionaries mustn’t have a foothold here. Let’s chase the vampires from our country, before they start sucking our blood again. We’ve had our fill of them.”
These two punchy paragraphs follow a lengthy examination of the history of the Church’s persecution of the Jews over the centuries, about which our reader is presumably well-informed. Now, in response to the Gopstein article in a website that’s ranked in 5,993rd place in Israel and 590,656th globally, the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center complained to the Deputy State Attorney for Special Tasks, Amit Isman, asking him to investigate Gopstein for incitement to violence and insulting religious sensitivities. And, indeed, Rachel Mader, head of the Criminal Prosecution, announced that “the case was transferred to the police with instructions from the prosecution.”
That’s it, folks, Israel is officially a tyranny run by prosecutors and judges. Channel 10 is going to run in early March a documentary titled “Capital Crimes” by Orna Ben Dor, a leftwing director who is married to Kobi Niv, one of Israel’s most provocative leftwing pundits. Ben Dor posted on her Facebook page that her new work is questioning the honesty and decency of Israel’s prosecution, which has been accused of “tailoring” cases, knowingly putting innocents in prison, and intimidating both politicians and sitting judges. Ben Dor reports that at this stage, when her production has been contacting prosecution officials for their responses, she has begun to receive direct threats from her subjects, including, of course, the Income Tax Authority, brrrr…