ADL Shocked at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Violent and Derogatory Sermon
Jerusalem, September 4, 2003 …The Israel Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is shocked and saddened at the incendiary and disrespectful statements made by Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef during a sermon Tuesday at a Jerusalem yeshiva.
According to media reports, the former chief Sephardi rabbi said it was "permissible to kill those who depreciate (haredi) yeshiva students (who generally do not serve in the army). Such a person is a degenerate, heretic…" Rabbi Yosef placed particular scorn on members of the National Religious Party who generally serve in the Israeli army, saying their views are "strange" and constitute "heresy."
The Israel Office of the Anti-Defamation League issued the following statement:
We are shocked and saddened at incendiary and derogatory statements reportedly made by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at his Yeshiva in Har Nof. This is far from the first time that Rabbi Yosef has made this type of comment against individuals who do not conform to his view of Judaism.
Rabbi Yosef's reported call for death to those with whom he disagrees needs to be taken with the utmost seriousness. The State Attorney's Office is currently examining the statements to see if they constitute incitement to violence and we await their findings.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.