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Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has ratcheted up its recent campaign against Jews with the release of virulently anti-Semitic music videos.
This latest gimmick is somewhat of a departure for the rabidly anti-gay group from Topeka, Kan. For years, Westboro has been notorious for disrupting the funerals of fallen American servicemen, among others, saying God is punishing them because of the “fag-enabling” ways of their country. In April, however, the group started picketing synagogues and Jewish cultural institutions, saying the Jewish community and its religious leaders condoned homosexuality and abortion. Then, in June, Westboro members went one step further, producing music videos that demonize Jews — all Jews — with blatantly anti-Semitic parodies of popular songs.
The five videos aimed primarily at Jews feature the dubious talents of Westboro Baptist Church members and can be accessed from the group’s main website. In “Come Together,” the cut out heads of prominent Jewish figures such as Woody Allen and Madeleine Albright are made to lip-synch to the Beatles tune, whose lyrics now include the words “filthy Jews.” Grotesque caricatures of Jews that could have been ripped from Nazi propaganda posters flash on the screen, including a grinning man with a bloody knife in his hand. There’s also an image of a drowning Jew. Cut-out figures depicting Westboro members hold signs that read, “God Hates Fag Enablers” and “You will Eat Your Babies.”
In “Makes Us So Happy,” which predicts Israel’s destruction to the tune of “Hava Nagila,” two church members dressed to look like Hasidic Jews (with obviously fake beards and sideburns) growl as they fight over a penny. Afterward, with dollar signs dangling from their necks, they dance and count money. “The Beast — the one you worship/Obama — has no mercy,” they sing. (In case you’re wondering how Obama and his purported lack of mercy fit in, Westboro member Shirley Phelps-Roper told Hatewatch that the president will turn on the Jews. “There’s going to be an awful trauma, and you know who’s going to be leading those nations against Jerusalem? It’s the beast, the Antichrist Obama.”) Toward the end of the video, Westboro members — dressed like Old World Jews — join hands and dance in a ring. The women wear T-shirts emblazoned with the address of a Westboro website: JewsKilledJesus.com.
“Hey Jews” appears to be a big Phelps family sing-along, with lots of young children. Moms hold tots in their arms as they sway to the music. “Hey Jews,” they sing to the tune of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” “don’t hate your God,/Fag and dyke rabbis teach rebellion./You lie about the holocaust days,/The fruit of your womb – they’re little hellions.” They sing the final lines with particular enthusiasm: “Hey evil reprobate Jews/God hates you,/And you know it!”
Phelps-Roper, an attorney for Westboro, proudly confirmed that the church had created the videos. She said she’d tell anyone who called the videos anti-Semitic to “shut up” and said she’s doing Jews a favor by letting them know they’ll be destroyed if they don’t repent. “I’m telling you, those Jews are filthy,” she said.
For good measure, a few videos on the website also defame Catholics. “50 Ways to Eat Your Baby” features caricatures of lascivious priests, images of the pope, and a sign that reads, “Priests Rape Boys.” The lyrics, sung to the tune of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” includes the words, “There must be 50 ways to eat your baby/50 ways to eat your baby/You just give ’em to the pope, dope.”
Phelps-Roper claimed she doesn’t keep track of how many people belong to Westboro. However, it’s estimated that the church has roughly 50 members, nearly all of them related by blood or marriage to Fred Phelps, the church’s aging leader.