ADL: Israeli Chief Rabbi Statement Against Non-Jews Living in Israel is Shocking and Unacceptable

Jerusalem, March 28, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, for stating that “non-Jews shouldn’t live in the land of Israel.”

In a recording of Yosef’s weekly Saturday night lecture, the rabbi can be heard saying, “If our hand were firm, if we had the power to rule, then non-Jews must not live in Israel. But, our hand is not firm.” He added that the only reason non-Jews were still allowed to live in Israel is in order to serve the Jews:  “Who, otherwise be the servants? Who will be our helpers? This is why we leave them in Israel.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office issued the following statement:

The statement by Chief Rabbi Yosef is shocking and unacceptable. It is unconscionable that the Chief Rabbi, an official representative of the State of Israel, would express such intolerant and ignorant views about Israel’s non-Jewish population – including the millions of non-Jewish citizens.

As a spiritual leader, Rabbi Yosef should be using his influence to preach tolerance and compassion towards others, regardless of their faith, and not seek to exclude and demean a large segment of Israelis.

We call upon the Chief Rabbi to retract his statements and apologize for any offense caused by his comments.