ADL Denounces Ovadia Yosef Remarks As Hateful and Divisive

Jerusalem, Israel, October 19, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned comments made by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as hateful and divisive, saying they "contribute to an atmosphere of hatred and a global trend of intolerance."

During an October 16 sermon, Rabbi Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel's Shas Party, reportedly said, "Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel … Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat…"

Abraham H, Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

It is disturbing to see any religious leader, and particularly Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, use their podium to preach such hateful and divisive ideas. His words echo far beyond the walls of his congregation and contribute to an atmosphere of hatred and a global trend of intolerance.

In a world where bigotry and prejudice are prevalent, it is especially important for religious leaders to use their influence to teach respect and acceptance.