Borough Park’s firebrand lawmaker nearly came to blows with the hate-spewing Kansans picketing outside of a Midwood yeshiva on Monday, calling one of the church members “a whore,” and breaching a police barricade before cops quickly restrained him.
So what turned Assemblyman Dov Hikind into an angry grizzly?
Hikind said it was one sign in particular held by one of the members of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church that made his blood boil: “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”
“There are soldiers dying on a regular basis, and these animals show up and picket,” said Hikind, who lives a few blocks from the demonstration, held outside Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, on Avenue I and E. 13th Street.
The group, which targeted Jews and Israel at the demonstration, has also been protesting at the funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq, claiming they are dying “for the homosexual and other sins of America.”
Other signs stated “God Hates Israel” and “Your Doom is Coming.”
The church was about an hour late for their planned protest — but it only took a nanosecond for Hikind, the son of Holocaust survivors, to snap.
He warned church member Shirley Phelps-Roper, “Just be careful the rest of your day in Brooklyn.” No one was hurt, but the group reportedly had its tires slashed.
Phelps responded, “Criminal conduct does not change God.”
Hikind was not arrested, and said afterwards, “There are anti-Semites in this world,” he said. “Do you ignore them or do you confront them?”
He continued, “You have haters coming into the heart of your community — I could not ignore that. You have to confront evil.”