Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein in a Knesset plenum session addressed the volatile session in the Knesset Interior Committee during which a representative of the Lehava organization participated, its director, Bentzion Gupstein.
Edelstein explained to lawmakers that he has received many inquiries in the Speaker’s Office regarding Lehava activities and the organization’s leader Bentzion Gupstein and this has prompted him to turn to legal experts and the Knesset Officer seeking council as how to respond. He has learned there is no legal basis for banning Lehava officials from Knesset and therefore he was not able to ban them from attending a session of a Knesset committee to which they were invited to attend.
Edelstein added he was strong in his opposition to the Lehava (להב”ה – למניעת התבוללות בארץ הקודש) (Preventing Assimilation in the Holy Land) activists visiting Knesset, for he feels they are not worthy of entering Knesset but his hands were tied. He told lawmakers he is among those who feel law enforcement agencies should take the initiative and declare the organization as it should, meaning to declare Lehava illegal “and be done with the problem once and for all” Edelstein added. The speaker chose his words carefully and refrained from referring to Lehava as a “Terrorist organization”.
He concluded by calling on the chairpersons of Knesset committees, to exhibit an increased measure of caution even if their actions result in good media coverage of their committee sessions.
The video shows the volatile session of the Knesset committee including the disdain and hatred directed at Gupstein.
One can view how Gupstein is called “the trash of Judaism”, “racist”, and “terrorist” during a session in the Knesset committee to which he was invited to attend. Ushers use physical restraint to control the Arab MKs and those who share their opinion.
Gupstein explained police shadow him, watching his every move and stand ready to arrest him and while his words may be provocative, there is no law-breaking activity. He also boasts the organization’s growing support nationwide.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)