-By Warner Todd Huston
The newest faux outrage comes from the mouth of controversial Jewish Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. In a sermon from Israel, Rabi Yosef as much as called for God to commit genocide against the so-called Palestinians. I say “as much as” because he didn’t actually call for genocide, but he came awfully close for comfort. In fact, even as he didn’t say it explicitly it’s hard not to see it being implied.
“Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this earth,” said Rabbi Yosef, head of the Israeli Shas party. “God should strike them and these Palestinians — evil haters of Israel — with a plague,” he added.
Naturally, the Palestinians are outraged and Reuters, the Associated Press, and other news outlets are playing the story for all its worth. By Monday it’ll likely be everywhere.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, of an extremely conservative sect and party, has been known to say wacky things like this before. Not long ago he told Israeli youth to abandon all electronic products like smart phones and computers because they were evidence of “street debauchedness,” what ever that is.
As reported in many places, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement distancing himself and the government from the extreme rhetoric of Rabbi Yosef, as well he should.
The government’s press release says that they “don’t represent the views of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or the Israeli government. Israel entered into negotiations out of a desire to progress with the Palestinians toward an agreement that will end the conflict and ensure peace, security and good neighborly relations between the two nations.”
But why is this a major story? Compared to the constant stream of hatemongering, murderous blabber, and TV shows for kids extolling the virtues of killing Jews that emerges from Hamas and the Palestinians themselves, this little comment by Rabbi Yosef is tame by comparison. After all, Yosef hoped that God would do the smiting. The Palestinians want their own children to start the next Holocaust.
To be sure, Rabbi Yosef is well known as a bit of a crank and his rhetoric is echoed by almost no other Israeli of similar position — or even lesser for that matter — anywhere in the country. So, why is the media bothering with him?
Well, there is a two-fold answer to that question.
First of all the media is anti-Jew and loves to gin up hatred for the state of Israel. These same “reporters” have ignored the daily talk of genocide from Palestinians for decades but up speaks nutty Rabbi Yosef and it’s a case that needs to be taken to the World Court!
But the second reason actually is one that stands as proof of how civilized and democratic Israel is. Rabbi Yosef’s comments are very unusual for Israel. When an Israeli makes a comment such as his official it is big news because it is so infrequent.
So, when the nutty Yosef speaks, people hear it because his brand of harsh language is odd and easy to report on because it is so odd.
But, let’s face it reason number one is the prevailing motivation for the Old Media’s focus on this story.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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