October 22, 2010
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday condemned comments about non-Jews made this past weekend by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
In a sermon given on Saturday on laws concerning what non-Jews are permitted to do on Shabbat, Yosef said: “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”
Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef
|Photo by: Daniel Bar-On
“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.”
According to Yosef, death has “no dominion” over non-Jews in Israel.
“With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”
On Tuesday, the ADL said that Yosef’s comments contributed “to an atmosphere of hatred and a global trend of intolerance.”
“It is disturbing to see any religious leader, and particularly Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, use their podium to preach such hateful and divisive ideas,” ADL chief Abraham H. Foxman said.
“In a world where bigotry and prejudice are prevalent, it is especially important for religious leaders to use their influence to teach respect and acceptance,” he continued.
In August, Yosef sparked controversy when he called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “perish from this world” and said that Palestinians were “evil, bitter enemies of Israel.”