Israeli Extremist Group Calls for the Demolition of Al Aqsa Dome

Last Wednesday, the leader of the Israeli extremist group, Lehava, called for the Dome of the Rock mosque (also referred to generally as Al-Aqsa) to be demolished as a twisted tribute to ‘Jerusalem Day.’

In a post published online, Bentzi Gopstein called on Israeli settlers living on stolen Palestinian land to come together and destroy one of the world’s holiest sites.

“Jerusalem Day, which falls on 29 May, is the day the demolition of the Dome of the Rock will begin,” Gopstein wrote in a Telegram chat which was made public across other social media platforms.

Telegram screenshot. Credit: Twitter / @AliAbunimah

In response, there were a tremendous number of arguments about how this all came about with some pro-Zionist leaders claiming that the poster was in fact fake and had been fabricated by the Israeli ‘left-wing’. However, after some digging, it can be confirmed that this is untrue as there is evidence from the Telegram chat that Gopstein actually took a poster from a different left-wing protest and edited it to fit his agenda.

“The Palestinian outlet Gaza Now shared what purportedly is an Israeli poster calling for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock on May 28th (Jerusalem Day). It’s clearly fake – the organizations supposedly behind it are left-wing organizations! #PropagandaFail,” wrote Moshe Kwiat, a pro-Israeli graduate researcher.

Ironically, he didn’t research this one enough before he posted this tweet, because the original screenshot from the Telegram chat had been exposed as well as the edits Gopstein allegedly made as a “joke” about the Dome.

“The #PropagandaFail is yours,” countered author, Ali Abunimah alongside the evidence. “This was posted on the Telegram channel of the fascist Zionist settler Bentzi Gopstein. Gopstein altered an original graphic made by the ‘left’ Zionist groups.”

Kwiat was right about one thing though; the original poster did come from a left-wing Zionist group, who, a week ago, called for the destruction of the Homesh output in the area. When translated to English, the caption read: “We’re coming. And this time with a bulldozer. The talk is over. Gone are the days when a violent gang of haters of Israel trampled on the rule of law and dragged Israel into an endless bloody conflict. We move on to deeds. On May 28, at 1:00 PM, we will march together masses of Israelis to dismantle the Criminals’ Hill in Chumash!”

Original Poster. Credit: Twitter / @PeaceNowIL

However, below is a close up of the edited version and as you can see, the target of the bulldozer has been edited to include the Dome of the Rock and the second line of the headline has also been altered.

Credit: Twitter / @AliAbunimah

For those of you that might not be aware, Bentzi Gopstein is a fifty-two-year-old Jewish Supremacist, according to Eman Network’s detailed profile of him. Not only is he a member of the far-right group Lehava, but he’s also been linked to other radical pro-Israeli parties such as, Otzma Yehudit and the Religious Zionism bloc, which has long advocated for the “complete eviction of Palestinians from their homes by force and the annexation of the West Bank.”

He has also previously been detained and questioned after being accused of murdering 2 Palestinians back in 1990 but was released due to a lack of evidence.

So, as far as a “joke” goes, this is not it, Gopstein.

The news comes just a few days ahead of Jerusalem Day.

Jerusalem Day is an Israeli holiday celebrated on the 28th-29th day of the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, commemorating the city’s ‘unification’ after the Israeli military occupied East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War AKA the ‘June War’ in 1967 and illegally altered documents outlining Palestinian territory and claiming it to be theirs.