30 August 2010

Shas rabbi prays for Palestinians to perish

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, which has four ministerial seats in the current Israeli government, has prayed for the destruction of the Palestinians. While delivering a sermon, Yosef said "Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."

In 2001, Yosef said, regarding the Arabs, that "it is forbidden to be merciful to them." He called on Israel to "send missiles to them and annihilate them", because "they are evil and damnable". After a controversy arose regarding these statements, Yosef claimed that he had only meant Arab terrorists, and not all Arabs.

Yosef was born in Basra, and was originally named Abdullah Youssef.

The Palestinian Authority and the US State Department have condemned Yosef's latest remarks. The Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has described Yosef's statement as an "incitement to genocide".

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