August 20, 2019

Being Honest About Hate

The past few days offered an interesting confluence of events that serves to highlight the importance of moral consistency, principle and the danger posed by religious true believers.

In this weekend’s Jerusalem Post and this week’s Jewish Journal, Judea Pearl, president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation [named after his son] wrote a wonderful ” title=”press reports” target=”_blank”>press reports from Israel quoted a Jewish New Year’s sermon by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, and now the spiritual leader of Israel’s leading ultra-Orthodox party, Shas.
Yosef, not one known to mince words (he has called Netanyahu a “blind she-goat” and proclaimed that “Sabbath desecrators are worse than cattle”), wished for the demise of the Palestinian Authority’s President, Mahmoud Abbas, “Abu Mazen (Abbas’ nom de guerre) and all these evil people should perish from this world….God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians…..evil, bitter enemies of Israel.”

These comments were delivered on the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s departure for this week’s Israel-Palestinian summit in Washington.

In short order, the US State Department” title=”said” target=”_blank”>said, “the words of the rabbi do not reflect my approach or the position of the Israeli government…Israel comes to the negotiating table out of a desire to proceed with the Palestinians to an agreement that would end the conflict and ensure peace, security and good neighborly relations.” Hardly a ringing condemnation, but clearly a distancing from Yosef’s nuttiness. 

Much to its credit, the Anti-Defamation League is one of the only American Jewish organizations (if Google is to be believed) to unequivocally condemn Yosef’s bigotry. ADL