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Benzi Gopstein

  • 20,000 take part in largest ever Jerusalem Pride March

    Under heavy security, 20,000 members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters march in Jerusalem, three years after a religious extremist stabbed 15-year-old Shira Banki during the parade. Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Tens of thousands of members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters took part in the largest ever Jerusalem Pride March on Thursday. The event, which began in the afternoon in Jerusalem's Liberty Bell Park and ended in Independence Park, took place under heavy police security, three years after the stabbing of 15-year-0ld Shira Banki at the hands of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man during the march. A number of leading LGBTQ activists took…

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  • Two years after stabbing, 20,000 participate in J'lem pride march

    Police arrest man carrying a knife, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at the Jerusalem pride march. Over 20,000 people took part in the annual Jerusalem pride march on Thursday afternoon, two years after 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered at the march by a religious extremist. Hundreds of police officers were on hand, forcing every participant to undergo inspection before entering Liberty Bell Park, where the march to was set to begin. Police arrested 22 people at the march, one of whom was carrying a knife. According to Haaretz, police summoned right-wing activists classified as “under watch” for clarification and…

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  • One of Israel's most painful chapters comes to life in Jerusalem

    After 60 years of covering up the disappearance of hundreds of Yemeni babies in the early years of the state, the time has come for justice and accountability. There were moments during Wednesday night's rally to commemorate the Yemenite children affair in which I wondered how the tiles beneath us, in Jerusalem's Mashbir Square, failed to crack under the unbearable weight of pain and grief. [tmwinpost] Veteran Jerusalemites will likely remember this plaza as "Talita Komi," one of the city's most vibrant areas. On Fridays people would stand here and deliver speeches to passersby, on Saturday evenings it was where young men and…

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  • What Israeli leftists can learn from the radical right

    Right-wing activists keep suing Israeli police — and winning — for false arrests and other abuses of power. Maybe it’s time the state start paying for its abuses against left-wing activists and Palestinians. By Yael Marom Israeli police and prison officials were ordered to pay NIS 30,000 ($8,000) to radical right-wing activist Benzi Gopstein and two of his cohorts from anti-miscegenation hate group Lehava this week. The court-ordered compensation was for an illegal search conducted after they were arrested on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in October 2013. The three filed a civil suit against the state for false arrest, and reached…

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  • Ahead of Tel Aviv Pride, queer activists bring the occupation home

    LGBTQ activists hang banners and graffiti anti-occupation slogans across Tel Aviv in the run-up to the city's annual pride parade. 180,000 people are expected to take part in the festivities, at least half of them tourists. By Yael Marom In the run up to Friday's Tel Aviv Pride festivities, Israeli LGBTQ activists hung banners and spray-painted anti-occupation graffiti across the city. The signs, which read "Occupation: Israeli Pride" and "You cannot pinkwash the occupation" were hung from bridges at the main entrances to the city. Meanwhile activists graffitied slogans such as "You can't pink wash occupation" in both Hebrew and English…

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  • Israel's ethnic purity police presents: Anti-assimilation for men

    In its ongoing efforts to save every Jewish soul, anti-assimilation group Yad L'Achim has broadened its offerings and is now extending its marriage-wrecking service to Jewish men in relationships with non-Jewish women.  Israeli anti-miscegenation group Yad L'Achim took a step towards equality last week when it announced via its website that it had rolled out its anti-assimilation "rescue" service to Jewish men in relationships with non-Jewish women. A more established counterpart to Lehava's goon squads, Yad L'Achim is also known for harassing Messianic Jews as part of its anti-assimilation efforts. [tmwinpost] Like Lehava, Yad L'Achim has traditionally focused on preventing relationships…

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  • Jewish extremists deface Jerusalem abbey with anti-Christian graffiti

    Jerusalem's Dormition Abbey has been vandalized for the second time in two years, with violent and threatening graffiti scrawled across its exterior. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in Israel. The Dormition Abbey near the Old City of Jerusalem was vandalized overnight on Sunday, with numerous threatening and violent messages and images scrawled on its walls and in nearby Christian cemeteries. [tmwinpost] According to a press release from the abbey, the graffiti was found shortly after midnight Sunday morning and followed "loud chanting and music by Jewish right-wing radicals," an almost-weekly occurrence in the…

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  • The uncomfortable context of Israel's book ban

    The decision to prevent high schools from teaching a Jewish-Palestinian love story might sound like an innocent attempt at promoting Jewish continuity. In fact, it's the sound of Israel's extreme right going mainstream. Israel's Education Ministry announced Wednesday that it would ban Israeli high schools from teaching a novel about a love affair between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man. [tmwinpost] The decision was made despite the fact that the book, Dorit Rabinyan's "Gader Haya," was recommended for use in advanced literature classes by numerous bodies — including a professional committee of academics and educators — at the request…

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  • WATCH: How the far-right glorifies killing of Palestinians

    The leader of a popular Jewish supremacist group circulates a new video that puts CCTV footage of stabbing attack to bouncy electronic music and violent, disturbing lyrics. Benzi Gopstein, the head of Lehava, posted a video on his Facebook page Monday glorifying the killing of Palestinians. Lehava is a popular Jewish supremacist group dedicated to preventing Arab-Jewish relations, which is also accused of regular incitement and racism against Palestinians — both online and on the streets of Jerusalem. (Click here for the original posting on Facebook) The video itself is CCTV footage of an incident in Jerusalem on Monday in which two Palestinian…

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  • The right-wing group trying to keep downtown Jerusalem Arab-free

    They roam the streets looking for either mixed Jewish-Palestinian couples or lone Arabs, protest at mixed weddings, and hand out racist leaflets. Their leaders are militant and well-organized, exploiting disaffected youth to do the dirty work. An inside look at the far-right group, Lehava, and the Jerusalem activists who are trying to put an end to its violence. By Ossnat Sharon Outside of Jerusalem, we often hear of Lehava demonstrating at a mixed Jewish-Palestinian wedding, or perhaps the LGBT pride parade. But ultimately, a protest of this sort by a handful of extremists isn’t very harmful. The truly destructive dimension…

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  • Pride parade stabber found fit to stand trial

    Yishai Shlissel, the ultra-Orthodox man arrested for attacking marchers at Jerusalem's Pride Parade for the second time, has been declared mentally fit to stand trial — again. Yishai Shlissel, the ultra-Orthodox man accused of murdering a teenage girl and injuring five other people in a stabbing attack at the Jerusalem pride parade last month, was declared mentally fit to stand trial on Wednesday. Jerusalem police were expected to charge Shlissel with murder and several counts of attempted murder. Shlissel has refused legal representation, saying that he does not recognize the court because it does not follow the rules of Torah. [tmwinpost] This is the…

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  • Who will pay the price for the Jerusalem Pride stabbing?

    After today's stabbing, it is unthinkable that life will go on as usual. Especially when the people who fuel hate and incitement still roam the city. By Yael Marom In Jerusalem, everything has gone back to normal. The streets are full of people and cars, apathetic toward the crime that took place here just a few hours ago, when six people were stabbed during the annual pride parade. Instead of going out into the streets, instead of demanding that Benzi Gopstein, the head of the racist "Lehava" organization who protested against today's parade and called it an "abomination," instead of…

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  • No parity between Zoabi's democracy and Kahane's racism

    By simply discussing the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel from the upcoming elections, the extreme right has already claimed another victory.   The double-hearing held in the Supreme Court on Tuesday under an extended panel headed by Justice Naor, to discuss the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel, respectively, was one of the more depressing displays of the absurdity we call "Israeli democracy." The constant worshiping of "balance" in the name of some imagined national sanity brought Zoabi – who represented the only party that calls for full equality in Israel – to the same…

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