Three yeshivas in Midwood, Brooklyn aren't looking forward to next Monday.
Members of an anti-Jewish, anti-gay Christian group from Kansas announced on their website they will visit the schools on October 11th
to warn the "children of Israel" that many of them "shall be cast into everlasting fire in hell." Westboro Baptist Church is the same group that's been turning up at funerals for dead, American soldiers
.claiming the young, military men are getting killed, because the United States condones abortion and homosexuality. Some church members carry signs saying, "Thank God for dead soldiers."
PIX 11 News spoke to Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, whose mother survived the Holocaust: "Kids going to school, seeing signs 'God hates Jews?' These are sick people, as far as I'm concerned." Hikind, who just returned from a trip that took him to two, concentration camps in Poland, including Auschwitz, plans on confronting the Westboro Baptists at the yeshivas, when--and if--they show up. "They are no different than neo-Nazi groups," he said today. "They preach hatred."
The address for the Westboro Baptist Church website is a homosexual slur. A link on the site identifies the three, Brooklyn locations where members are supposed to appear on Monday. The targeted schools are Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin on Coney Island Avenue, Yeshiva Torah Temimah on Ocean Parkway, and Chabad of Kensington, also on Ocean Parkway.
The Westboro Baptists defended themselves yesterday, in a case before the United States Supreme Court. Albert Snyder, the father of a dead, U.S. Marine, is arguing the Church doesn't have a right to taint the memory of dead, American soldiers at their funerals
.in spite of the First Amendment right to free speech. Snyder spoke yesterday outside the court, recalling the protestors who turned up at the 2006 funeral for his son, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. He called their presence "so extreme, it went beyond the bounds of all human decency."
A very small group of Westboro Baptists showed up in Brooklyn last fall--but they were met by dozens of counter-protestors. A spokeswoman for the group told the New York Post last year, "The Jews' time is about done and they have to be held accountable for spilling the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ." Today in Midwood, longtime Brooklyn resident, Janet Bendel, bristled at those words: "I pity them," she said. "It's a shame, because they're just ignorant. And they don't know anything about our community--just an inborn hate. Jews did not kill Jesus! It's all ignorance."