Both communities attend separate synagogues in different neighborhoods. Israel has two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi, the other Sephardic. Extremists believe in Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).
Thirteenth century Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman was their spiritual godfather. He said Jews "should settle in the land and inherit it, because He gave it to them, and they should not reject God's inheritance." Our rabbis say it's "a mitzvah (commandment) to settle in the land and it is forbidden to leave it."
Similar dogma persists today. Extremist zealots believe Jews alone have rights. Palestinians are enemies for wanting their own land. All Arabs and Gentiles everywhere are lesser beings. Killing them is acceptable to serve Jewish interests.
Shas party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef once called for annihilating Arabs. On August 17, he met secretly with senior Israeli defense and government officials. He heads Shas' Council of Torah Sages. He formerly served as Israel's chief Sephardic rabbi.
He's 91 but still active. In an earlier sermon , he called the Palestinians "snakes (and) accursed, wicked ones." He claims God regrets creating Arabs.
He later said it's "forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable." He considers Katrina God's wrath against Godless Blacks. He claims God said "let's bring a tsunami and drown them."
He compares non-Jews to farm animals. They're only fit to serve Jews, he said. According to the Jerusalem Post :
"Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world -- only to serve the People of Israel."- Advertisement -
Yosef believes only Jewish lives matter. He interprets the chosen people notion dangerously.
'In Israel, death has no dominion over (Gentiles). 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.'
'Why are gentiles needed? They will work. They will plow. They will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created."
Compassion isn't Yosef's long suit. Nor is reason and belief about everyone deserving equal rights.
Friday's discussion focused on Iran. Netanyahu wants Yosef approval for war. Perhaps he also sought his spiritual blessing. So far it's not clear where he stands. However, a day after the meeting, he said in his weekly sermon :
"You know what situation we're in. There are evil people (in) Iran (wanting) to destroy us".We must pray before (God) with all our heart."