Furor Arises Over Hagaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef’s Remarks On Non-Jewish Immigrants, Liberman Calls For His Dismissal

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A storm of criticism and reactions arose on Israeli media on Tuesday about the remarks of Sephardic Chief Rabbi Harav Yitzchak Yosef on non-Jewish immigrants to Israel, which he stated last week at a rabbinical conference.

The Israeli news website Yediot Aharonot published a video on Tuesday morning in which Harav Yosef is seen bemoaning the “hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands” of non-Jewish immigrants that moved to Israel under the amended Law of Return, which allows non-Jewish spouses, children, grandchildren and spouses of children and grandchildren to immigrate to Israel.

Rav Yosef said that many of the non-Jews are haters of religion and they vote for parties which incite against Chareidim and religion and that we’re unfortunately seeing the results of their incitement. Rav Yosef added that many of the non-Jewish immigrants are Christian and attend church every Sunday.

Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beyteinu party, which is almost entirely comprised of immigrants from the FSU, wasted no time in responding to the video by attacking Rav Yosef and calling for his suspension.

Former Meretz chairman and current Democratic Union MK Tamar Zandberg wrote a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit demanding that an investigation be opened against the Rav on charges of incitement.

Harav Yosef released an official response to the video on Tuesday afternoon, stating: “I said clearly and I’m again saying that along with the welcome immigration of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the FSU who were moser nefesh for many years to preserve their Jewish identity, there is a minority of non-Jewish immigrants who arrived through the ‘grandchild clause’ to the Law of Return which allows non-Jewish people to immigrate to Israel.”

In my visit to the flourishing Jewish communities in Russia and Ukraine last month, I heard their harsh criticism against the immigration of many non-Jews to Israel,” Rav Yosef emphasized.

“Whoever is bringing masses of non-Jews to Israel through this clause for outside reasons is acting with a lack of integrity first and foremost toward these immigrants and is subjecting them to an impossible reality at every stage of their lives in a Jewish state. Revision of the Law of Return is first and foremost in the interest of these immigrants.”

“Of course, along with the criticism, we as Jews are obligated to accept every resident of Israel and appreciate their contributions to us as a society. Our Torah teaches us to respect everybody as every person is created in the image of Hashem.”

“It is very unfortunate that there are those who feel hurt from the manner my words were blatantly misrepresented by interested political parties who have been inciting for months against the tradition of Yahadus and Halacha. It’s important to state things accurately and truthfully,” Harav Yosef concluded.

“The main person responsible for the incitement between traditional Jews and olim from the former FSU is Avigdor Liberman,” the Shas party said in a statement of support for Harav Yosef. “His personal hatred for Netanyahu drives him out of his mind and it occupies him all day in his attempts to oust the prime minister from his position and attract votes through incitement and fanning the flames between sectors.”

“Liberman is knowingly distorting the words of the Rishon L’Tzion Harav Yitzchak Yosef, who was referring to the population of non-Jewish immigrants which unfortunately is growing due to the breach of the ‘grandchild clause’ in the Law of Return.”

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman also issued a statement of support for Rav Yosef, saying: “Avigdor Liberman is the last person who can preach to others about incitement. This is the man, who from the time he recognized that incitement and hatred can bring him votes, hasn’t ceased to fan the flames between sectors and act in an irresponsible and malicious fashion to divide and damage the delicate balance between the various populations of Israel.”

Over 430,000 people living in Israel are neither Jewish or Arab according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, most of whom are immigrants from the former FSU under the “grandchild clause.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




13 COMMENTS

  1. Ethiopian Christians and Russian non-Jews are taking over Israel. The celebration of Novi God, the Russian holiday that celebrates the Christian new year, complete with Christmas trees and Christmas themed scenes, is almost an official Israeli holiday. The Israelis think this holiday is a secular holiday because the Russian Communists stripped it of it’s Christian symbolism but it totally a Christian holiday celebrating their new year.

  2. This number is of the non-Jews only. But there are also 200-300 thousand Jews from Russia whose fathers are not Jewish, most of which also have no interest in religion and who will continue to assimilate with the non-Jewish compatriots that were brought along them.

  3. Rav Yitzchok is a 1000% correct

    This is the plan of the secular who are selfish people, want to have FUN with very little obligations, therefore having many children is out od the question. In order to fil that the VOTER VOID they bring in GOYIM to vote for their secular party. This is what the Prophet said when there will be the WAR of Gog & MOgog, also people from within will fight you.

    The rav is right, why bring in more people who will gang up against you?

  4. Rav Yosef is correct and it’s about time somebody said it !!! The people coming in large numbers from the FSU are a disaster for Israel. The State is being populated with people who are either not Jewish or have no interest in Judaism. When will the Religious-Zionist “Kool Aid drinkers” wake up and stop blindly supporting whatever the secular, religion hating “jews’ of Israel do?

  5. the rav is 100% correct, these folks are often not even 1/4 Jewish as they are the spouses of the 1/4 Jew and they bring their parents, siblings and their kids with them its basically a version of the US family reunification program, 1, 1/4 Jew can bring 20 full non Jews to Israel. The Ethiopians are not even 1/4 Jewish they are pure Africans with a mead up story of Queen Sheba.

  6. Just like in US illegals were being allowed in through the “open border” to eventually help out Democrat party at the polls. Just look at the state of California! Same in Israel, secular Zionist government is trying to balance out the growth of Charedi and Arab population by bringing in many halachic non-Jews from FSU who will vote for secular parties. For secularists – political power is above all else.

  7. Not so long ago leading rabbis could make Bolder comments than this and was accepted as their prerogative
    On a regular basis Rabbi Yosef’s own father made relatively Wilder statements and it was taken for granted that he was entitled

    plus the fact that 61% of immigrants from Russia and 66% of immigrants from Ukraine the past 7 or so years are non Jewish And guess who is courting their potential vote

  8. well all you people who are against neturei karta… <aybe now you see what they are fighting against? there will be no jews left if zionism has its way.
    @147. Go tell him.

  9. Rav Yosef is correct in this statement and unfortunately BIBI is incorrect in his take on this horror of horrors___Lieberman is not even worth a breath and nor are the secular who foolishly believe that Shabbos is a waste…sorry to burn your britches folks but only those who follow mitzvah deserve the land of Israel___shame on all of you for whistling through dixie and diminishing our G-d___