Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef came under fire on Tuesday after he reportedly told a crowd at a Jerusalem gathering last week that “hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands of gentiles came to Israel under the Law of Return” reports Ynet.
According to the Law of Return, anyone with a Jewish grandparent can move to Israel and obtain citizenship. According to Jewish law, to be a Jew, one’s mother must be Jewish. This means that most legal immigrants (Olim) from the former USSR are not actually Jewish. This phenomenon has been a sticking point for Religious Jews in Israel who blame these Russian-speaking immigrants of diluting the Jewish character of the state.
Regarding those who arrived from the former Soviet Union, the Rabbi added that many of them were “anti-religious Gentiles”.
“There are many, many Gentiles here, some of them communists, resistant to religion, they hate religion. They are not even Jews (rather) gentiles. Then they vote for parties that incite against the Hassidic Jews and against religion.”
“They were brought here as a counterbalance against Ultra-Orthodox” he added. “That way, if there are elections, the ultra-orthodox won’t have much representation. That’s why they were brought to Israel, complete gentiles. To our dismay, we see the fruits of the incitement that they have sparked” the Rabbi stated.
And although many, including Prime Minister Netanyahu has condemned his statements, according to recent statistics, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef is correct.
Recent reports were published by The Hiddush organization showing that 86% of Olim are not Jewish according to Jewish law. However, both the Jewish Agency and the Interior Ministry reject the report despite not being able to offer any of their own data to counter the original assessment.
CEO of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) organization Yitzchak Wasserlauf, responded to the Rabbi’s sentiments tweeting:
The Chief Rabbi speaks from his heart of hearts, with the responsibility he carries on his shoulders in the matter of assimilation and preservation of Jewish identity.
And along come little people and dwarfs like Yair Lapid who turns every deep idea into an election campaign. He tramples the splendor and majesty we glory in, with swipes worth nothing at all. Comes Gantz, representing this whole superficial and shallow perception of everything and everyone that is holy to Israel.
And the donkey opens its mouth…
“Who asked this from you, to trample in My courts?” (Isaiah 1:12)
What’s it to you, whether it’s the Chief Rabbi or anything else connected to the dynasty of the Jewish People???