Outrage in Holy Land

The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land filed an official complaint with Israeli police after the leader of a radical Israeli movement offered remarks to the press that seemed to encourage the burning of churches. The Rev. Pietro Felet, the assembly’s secretary general, filed the complaint on Aug. 7 against Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein on behalf of more than 20 patriarchs and bishops. Rabbi Gopstein, who heads the Jewish anti-assimilation extremist movement, Lehava, said in early August that “churches and mosques could be burned,” asserting that “Jewish law advocated destroying the land of idolatry.” The assembly said the rabbi’s comments “incite hatred and pose a real threat to the Christian religious buildings in the country.” The assembly urged Israeli authorities to “ensure real protection for Christian citizens of this country and their places of worship.”

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