Ha’aretz reporter Anshel Pfeffer reported on the remarks of prominent Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who said in his weekly radio address:
“May our enemies and haters come to an end. May Abu Mazen [Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas] and all those wicked men be lost from the earth. May God smite them with the plague of pestilence, including all those Palestinians.
Wow. He prayed to God for pestilence to afflict “all those Palestinians.” Pfeffer continued:
No better, no worse than previous utterances by the venerable rabbi, 90 in two weeks and still going strong. He has said similar things over the years about Arabs and other non-Jews, singling out for particular attention not only their leaders, but also some Israeli Jewish ones, including the present prime minister.
Yet, this time was different, because Israeli and Palestininan leaders are currently engaged in peace talks with the goal of reaching a final settlement within one year. Thus, his remarks were widely condemned, as Pfeffer explains:
This week, though, the weekly sermon drew wider attention, thanks to its timing, on the eve of the Israeli-Palestinian summit in Washington. So not only did the local Israeli media record his latest pearls of wisdom, with a couple of left-wing politicians issuing the standard condemnations, but the Palestinian leadership also responded angrily, the U.S. State Department denounced the “deeply offensive inflammatory statements,” and even such august bodies as the Anti-Defamation League and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain joined the chorus.
Yet, you know who’s silence has been deafening? Robert Spencer’s, of course!
There has been no such condemnation of the Rabbi’s comments against Palestinians. No condemnation of what appears to be the calling for genocide against an entire people by a very prominent Rabbi. No condemnation of quite inflammatory statements from a religious leader against another people.
Yet, what if he were Muslim? What if a Muslim cleric had recently said something similar about Jews? Spencer would have been all over it. He would have posted it on his blog and spread the contention that this is the true face of Islam, and not just a twisting of its tenes. Spencer would have been screaming, “Islamic Anti-Semitism!”
This is not to deny that such anti-Semitism does exist in the Muslim world, and some Muslim clerics have spewed forth horribly hateful things aginst Jews, Christians, and even other Muslims. Yet, rational people can see that these clerics and fanatics are an aberration, a mutation, and not the norm. Except, it seems, for Robert Spencer.