A constant defense uttered by Israeli leaders as to why they can not enter into negotiations with Palestinians is their desire to wipe out the Jewish people and state. The spiritual leader of the powerful ultra-Orthodox Shas political movement whose party is a member of the current Israel government, had a few choice words to express about Muslims and Palestinians. Rabbi Obvadia Yosef, at his Sabbath sermon told listeners that President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people are :our enemies and haters.” He went on to express his hope that “all these evil people should perish from this earth…. God should strike them down with a plague, them and these Palestinian, evil-doers and Israel-haters.” These words of peace and hope were uttered just as negotiators from Israel and the Palestinian Authority were to meet in Washington D.C. with President Obama. Palestinian leaders urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to condemn these inflammatory remarks, but the best they received was, that what was spoken was not in accord with his government and Israel was committed to peace negotiations.
I am confused. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly quoted remarks from Palestinian radicals who urge the end of Israel as justification for not negotiating with people who want to kill all Jews. But, he will not condemn remarks by the former Chief Rabbi of Israel which calls for the death of all Palestinians.