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Troubling Israeli Religious Fundamentalism

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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He referred to an earlier incident. Eight students died. These views aren't exceptions. Minority Haredim make things hard for others. Representing about 8% of Israeli Jews, their influence greatly outweighs their numbers.

Eliyahu said he wasn't "talking about individual people in particular. I'm talking about the state. (It) has to pain them where they scream 'Enough,' to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream 'help.' "

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Ethnicity in Israel defines religious segments. Sephardic Jews originated from the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. Ashkenazi ones are from Eastern Europe. They differ in religious and cultural traditions. 

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).

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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. 

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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."

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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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