Hateful Words From A Rabbi
08/30/2010 - 14:51
Gary Rosenblatt

The sermon delivered by Rabbi Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party in Israel, and broadcast in part on Israel Radio on Sunday, is an embarrassment to all Jews.

Referring to the leader of the Palestinian Authority and his followers, the rabbi said that “Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from the earth.”

What saddens me is that this sentiment comes from one of the most influential rabbis in the world, and that few of his colleagues have spoken out against such hateful rhetoric.

We Jews, rightfully, insist on Arab and Muslim leaders condemn hateful speech about Jews; how can we do less?

While in no way defending the words and sentiments of the 89-year-old and widely revered Sephardi rabbi, I simply note that such words of hate are heard so regularly and so widely in the Arab world about Jews that they rarely, if ever, draw media attention.

Even we ourselves shrug our shoulders when we hear of Muslim clerics in the West Bank, Gaza or in Arab countries referring to Jews as pigs, monkeys, spreaders of AIDS, enemies of peace and undeserving of life. It is so common that we – and I include myself – almost dismiss it without fully appreciating the level of inhumanity it implies.

And of course the president of Iran insists that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth to spare the world of evil, and the nations of the so-called international community ignore him.

Hateful speech should be condemned, publicly and directly, whenever and wherever it is heard. It’s that simple.

Comments

Thank you Gary for not pointing out what is "right" or "wrong" with Rabbi Yosef's sermon? hate speech? But, instead pointing out what is "evil" in Rabbi Yosef's sermon? hate speech?

oh Gary we are filled too much with our own hatred to agree with you my son.

"And of course the president of Iran insists that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth to spare the world of evil, and the nations of the so-called international community ignore him". Still peddling this rubbish, see: http://www.counterpunch.org/tilley08282006.html or http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=5866 and many other sources.
Gary, what exactly are you so riled up about??? doesn't G-d command the jews to wipe out Amalek? Besides, Rav Ovadia was NOT saying jews should do it but was asking the Almighty to d it. What is so wrong about asking G-d to wipe out those who wish our destruction? Your attention is misplaced. Why not illuminate to the public Abbas' calls made in Arabic to invade Israel ?
Gary, Don't you pray 3 times daily? In the Amidah prayer we have just these very same sentiments echoed in the belssing for the "heretics". Check your Siddur and unless you have censored it out what Rabbi Yosef has said is exactly what you yourself are reciting thrice daily.
Ovadiah Yosef betrays and belittles his accomplishments in the fields of Torah and Gemilut Chesed by descending into political activities and engaging in hateful rhetoric. As the nominal leader of the Shas Party, he further erodes the credibility of his members by moving from civil discourse appropriate to a democratic society to the venomous hate-speech of the Moslem leaders in the world from which he emerged. Their hate speech is no excuse for his.
typical. gary if your Jewish identity is so important to you, why have you not made Aaliyah? no, you prefer to hold Jewish court in a foreign land and point fingers and condemn torah scholars who are in a much better position to pass judgements on the peace process or its players. lets not forget the Rav also was the same to agree to concede land for peace, which was a revolutionary step. the fact is that he can recognize that abbas is disingenuine or lacks power to secure a lasting peace and you cant. instead you are willing to put your faith in the US backed peace process because it helps you be a more comfortable as a Jew in America. meanwhile, you play willy nilly with the lives of fellow jews here by not speaking out. live here, force your kids to serve in IDF, then make all the judgements you want. until then, you should be more honest about what you are doing. titbayesh! you have the nerve to call the great Rav an "embarassment" look in the mirror
Gary, Whats worse? Seems like you are more upset at Rabbi Ovadia then you are at the incident this evening in Hebron - - why so apologetic?
"I simply note that such words of hate are heard so regularly and so widely in the Arab world about Jews that they rarely, if ever, draw media attention." They're about as common in some sectors of the Jewish world as well, and I think you know it. (I'm a bit surprised this statement even made the news, all things considered; if it hadn't been on the radio, it would have been par for the course.)

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