Anti-Mormon Rally
Tsipi Kuper

The southern slope of Mount Scopus filled with demonstrators and music last week as people of various Orthodox streams gathered to protest against the construction of the Mormon Brigham Young University branch on the opposite hill. "You better run for your life back to Utah overnight before that moutainside opens wide to swallow you inside," popular ultra-Orthodox singer Mordechai Ben-David sang to a quasi-rock beat. The crowd of some 8,000 included many men with streimels, and others with knitted skullcaps and families with prams and packed lunches. Speeches and songs were interspersed with announcements about missing children. Sephardi Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu said that "the IDF soldiers who spilled their blood on this hill did not do so to pass it on to missionary hands." Also present were Interior Minister Yitzhak Perez, and Knesset Members Avraham Shapia, Avner Shaki, Haim Druckman and Meir Kahane. A handful of Mormons watched the proceedings from the half-finished building on the Mount of Olives. University President Dr. David Galbraith told The Jerusalem Post that although he was disturbed by the anti-Mormon sentiments, he thought interest in the group and its study center was waning. The last mass rally against the building drew some 20,000 ultra-orthodox Jews to Mea She'arim's Kikar Shabbat in September. Galbraith said he was confident that the building would be completed on schedule next spring. About a dozen members of the Hashomer Hatzar youth movement staged a quiet counter-rally, sitting on a nearby hill and holding posters which read, "Down with religious coercion."

(Jerusalem Post- May 10, 1986- Holiday Atmosphere at Anti-Mormon Rally by Tsipi Kuper)

The Jerusalem Center