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VIDEO & PHOTOS: Full Report On Hate-Filled Protest By Westboro Baptist Church Outside Brooklyn Yeshivas; Hikind Rushes Police Lines To Grab Signs

So the nut jobs (all 5 of them) from the Westboro Baptist Church showed up for their scheduled protests in Brooklyn today.

They are a pathetic sight, but prove how a small group of people can cause such a ruckus around the United States.

Following YWN breaking the story last week that there would be protests held, local residents handed out flyers regarding a “Nazi protest” which was being held outside Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, and Yeshiva Torah Temimah, and called for a counter demonstration. NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind vowed to counter-protest as well.

For the most part the protests / counter-protests were uneventful, besides for one or two people (including Dov Hikind) who rushed the group to try and grab their highly offensive signs. The counter-protest at all three locations were attended by Jews and non-Jews. Hikind told YWN that he was overcome with anger after seeing the signs which said “Thank God For Dead Soldiers”.

When the protest outside Chaim Berlin Elementary School was over, the group was escorted by officers of the NYPD’s 70 Precinct to their vehicle, and kept the crowd away from the vehicle and the group. Besides for their slashed tires (no tears here), they were able to drive away unscathed by the screaming crowd of counter-protesters. They were seen a short while later getting their flat fixed at a local tire-repair shop.

“The only thing I’m sad about, is that all four of their tires weren’t slashed”, Dov Hikind told YWN.

However, what bothers this writer is two things.

Although we live in a great land which allows us freedom of speech, it is totally unacceptable to permit such a group to stage a protest directly outside the windows of classrooms packed with children with the words “Your Rabbi is a ____”(obscenity not fit to publish on YWN). Why must children be forced to read such a hateful slur? Is this not a hate crime? If that statement was found graffitied onto a wall near a Yeshiva, the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit would probably investigate it as a Hate Crime. Why not now? In fact, the Supreme Court is reviewing a similar case by these same nutjobs where they picketed a soldier’s funeral with the placards “God Loves Dead Soldiers.” I sincerely hope the Supreme Court has the wisdom to understand that this is HATE speech not FREE speech.

That being said, the greatest Chillul Hashem in this writer’s view was the foul language directed at the group by members of none other than the Frum community. Everyone has their own Rov to advise them if they should, or should not attend a counter-protest. But especially with TV cameras rolling, yarmulka-wearing Jews should not make a Chillul Hashem by lowering themselves to the protesters level and using foul language. Perhaps, Councilman Greenfield’s approach would have been better: he suggested simply ignoring the handful of protesters out of concern that this is exactly what was going to happen.
Finally, these two outstanding yeshivas should be commended for keeping all their students inside their buildings, and forbidding them to join the counter protest.

Some facts about these crazies:

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an Independent Baptist church and hate group. It is located in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles west of the Kansas State Capitol. It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists mostly of members of his large family; in 2007, it had 71 members.

Phelps and his family picket approximately six locations every day, including many in Topeka and some events farther afield. On Sundays, up to 15 churches may receive pickets. By their own count, WBC has conducted over 30,000 pickets, in all 50 states, in over 500 cities and towns. Their travel budget exceeds $200,000 annually. As of March 2009 the church claims to have participated in over 41,000 protests in over 650 cities since 1991.

YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for photos by Hillel Engel.

YWN MOBILE VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to watch video (from a mobile device only).

(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN)

27 Responses

  1. Why were the police involved. The protesters weren’t a threat to anybody, and New York tax dollars shouldn’t be wasted protected out-of-towners who are looking for trouble. I’m sure the good citizens of Boro Park could have given them an appropriate reception without being coaxed.

  2. They’re so off the chart that they don’t deserve a counter demonstration! it just alows them to make more noise than they can really make on their own… it’s really stupid.

  3. I was there at the Ocean Parkway site and most of us behaved appropriatly. There were a few who used foul language, but they were a minority. Events like this attract all elements of our community. These few church people were a pathetic sight, especially the woman with the “Jews killed j….) shirt who was holding 4 signs.

    One must remember that the 4 or 5 picketers we saw are a large part of the membership of this loony church.

  4. Could you imagine how stupid they would have looked if 5 people showed up with their little signs, and not one person took notice of them?

  5. akuperma said: Why were the police involved. … I’m sure the good citizens of Boro Park could have given them an appropriate reception without being coaxed.

    Did you watch the video? Without the Police, Hikind would have started a war…

  6. Assemblyman Hikind is a true champion of his constituency and his brethren in Klal Yisroel, he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and he walks the walk even when it would be easier to stand back,too many were lost and suffered while many were Silent during the Nazi Propaganda we must stand together as a klal and show we are a force to be reckoned with, these are opportunities to show achdus, everyone is entitled to their opinions, with that said, congradulations to those who took time out of their busy day to attend, i am proud to be a jew

  7. EDITED..

    isn’t there some sort of city law against disturbing the peace on school property? There has to be!

    #3 – You know what? This isn’t the place to give mussar about not using foul language so when the WBC googles this, they can see that one Jew is disparaging/disagreeing the other – that’s a bigger chilul H in my eyes – go to the people directly and show a united front here for the world to see -anyway you guys are the news, not the moral police.

  8. After Hikind was in fact at the protest I can’t blaim him for charging that lady but I don’t think there should’ve been a counter protest at all! It would’ve been, I think, much better to just ignore the whole thing, and maybe to remember that we are in Gullos!

  9. If a parent was in their car outside the school with the motor running innocently waiting for their child they would get a ticket for idling in front of a school but for spewing hatred they get police protection-This is where democracy has gone crazy!!!

  10. There is nothing new under the sun. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “While I was Police Commissioner of New York City, an anti-Semitic preacher from Berlin, Rector Ahlwardt, came to preach a crusade against the Jews. Many Jews were much excited, and asked me to prevent him from speaking and not to give him police protection. This, I told them, was impossible; and if possible would have been undesirable because it would make him a martyr. The proper thing to do was to make him look ridiculous. Accordingly, I sent a detail of police under a Jewish sergeant, and the Jew-batier made his harangue under the active protection of some 40 police, every one of them a Jew.”

  11. I’m really shocked after watching this video. Whoever went out to them only SUPPORTED them, including hikind.

    They want to be recognized, and that’s exactly what they got today.
    Imagine they would arrive and not a soul would be seen in the streets to listen to their shtussim. That would make them into fools.

    Because some people without too much brains went out against them, these crazies gained power.

  12. I fail to grasp why they were not ignored. They WANT the attention. I mean this is simple. How on earth did we fall for their trap?

  13. The more I watched the videos of these morons protesting as well as the anti protest, I have to wonder if the Dov Hikind episode was perhaps staged. I mean, it looked as if the cops knew what he was going to do and they allowed him to do it as long as no one got hurt. I’ve seen bigger “surprised” looks from WWE “referees” than I did from the Police Officers.

    Just wondering.

  14. Seems like all parties were satisfied as they all got exactly what they wanted. The anti-Semitic wackos got media attention and media-saavy Hikind got his share. I doubt these vicious individuals would ever come here again had they no attention at all. I also doubt Hikind would lose his temper in public had there be no media. Thanks for putting them on the map and giving them reason to come again…

  15. While I applaud the sentiment that drove Mr. Hikind to this action, it was emotionally and even recklessly executed. As a leader of his community, he should have vociferously denounced this despicable group. But to have become enraged to the point of physical violence endangered everyone involved and gave these bigots the publicity that they were seeking in the first place. Our community looks to it’s leaders for calm and cool during times of crisis and can easily be swept up in a violent example. Mr. Hikind’s actions and example were that of an angry adolescent and not that of a fourteen term member of the Assembly. One wonders if this conduct was the result of a looming election in which he faces an opponent for the first time in a dozen years.

  16. It’s a mistake to “confront” them. It plays into their hands. They love confrontations. They love provoking and disturbing people. The more anger, disturbance and tumult they create, the better they like it. It gives them more publicity. Reminds me of an extremist group with black coats and peyos who, among other crazy things, run to embrace Ahmedinijad and Hamas, no matter how much opposition from Jews they engender. They also love publicity.

    The only solution that works with groups like these is to totally ignore them and if possible walk away. Being ignored is the one thing they can’t deal with.

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