A granddaughter of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper speaks in Israel for the first time with the ‘Jewish enemy’ who became a friend
By Matthew Kalman | The Times of Israel
Megan Phelps-Roper grew up believing she would arrive in Israel at the end of days to witness the rapture of the Second Coming. She hated Jews and homosexuals, celebrated terror attacks and famine, and picketed the funerals of United States soldiers killed in Iraq.
Instead, she’ll be arriving in Israel next week as the guest of David Abitbol, the Jew who saved her soul by engaging her online. Abitbol and Phelps-Roper — who was recently featured in The New Yorker and described her experience in a TED talk viewed 2 million times — will be speaking together to audiences in Israel for the first time.
Phelps-Roper was raised as a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, founded by her grandfather, Fred Phelps. As a child, she joined her family as they traveled across the United States picketing soldiers’ funerals, synagogues, schools, events and more. There they would spread their message — that Jews killed Jesus, that God demanded the death penalty for homosexuals and that He hated everyone that wasn’t them.