August 29, 2010 Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Calls For the Death of Palestinians

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

August 29, 2010 Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Calls For the Death of Palestinians

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef released one of his terrible missives yesterday. He stated in his weekly sermon that PA President Abbas and all the of the Palestinians should perish from the earth. Yosef's statement has been widely repeated around the world. The US State Department issued a condemnation. In Israel, the statement was received with a lethargic shrug, accompanied by counter-statements that Yosef is an old man who does not know what he is saying. While it is true, Yosef is an old man, he is an old man who controls one of the largest political parties in Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu of course stated that he does not share the beliefs of Rabbi Ovadia. However, neither he nor anyone else in the Israeli government can afford to condemn Yosef. Unfortunately here lies the real problem. How can we complain to the Palestinians when they merely distance themselves, rather than condemn their militants. We lose whatever moral high ground we might have when we allow statements like those made by Rabbi Yosef to be stated without be roundly condemned by the full spectrum of Israeli politicians.

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