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Troubling Israeli Religious Fundamentalism

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Mubarak knew what others do now. Yosef's views matter. If he's against attacking Iran, Netanyahu may have to rethink policy. If he supports it, Netanyahu and other hardliners will be freer to act.

Yitzhak Rabin met with him three times before finalizing the Oslo Accords. Ariel Sharon saw him twice before announcing his Gaza disengagement plan. Thousands of Gush Katif residents were moved unwillingly to new homes.

In 2007, before attacking Syria's alleged nuclear site, Ehud Olmert discussed it with Yosef. He did again before attacking Lebanon in 2006.

Last October, Netanhayu sought Yosef's approval on Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for Gilat Shalit. US Israeli ambassador Dan Shapiro established a friendly relationship with him before assuming his post. He went out of his way to meet with him on arrival. Other meetings followed.

On August 17, Yosef met privately with Netanhayu, Shas party Interior Minister Eli Yishai and National Security Council head Ya'akov Amidror.

Yishai opposes war. Amidror supports it. He's hardline against Iranian influence. He calls its peaceful nuclear program threatening. 

Yishai expressed concern after the meeting ended. Perhaps Yosef endorsed Netanyahu's plan. Whatever his previous views, he may have been manipulated to believe Iran poses an existential threat. He addressed other views in Israel, saying:

"They (Iran) are capable of bringing about mass destruction, God forbid. May God nullify their thoughts. We cannot sit idly by. The nation of Israel is in danger. We are not in regular times."

In 2010, Yosef asked God to hit Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Palestinians with a plague. These "evil people should perish from this earth," he said. "God should strike them and these Palestinians, evil haters of Israel"." 

Other extremist rabbis say similar things. Their views matter. They influence policy. If Yosef urged war Iran, expect it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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