What’s the difference between President Ahmadinejad and Rabbi Yosef?

Short answer. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad did NOT call for Israeli Jews to be annihilated. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party, HAS called, more than once, for the Palestinians (and, in fact, all Arabs) to be exterminated.

As reported by the mainstream Western media, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”. What that meant, it was asserted, was the destruction, the driving into the sea, of Israel’s Jews.

What Ahmadinejad actually called for was the de-Zionization of Palestine. His actual words were to the effect that he wanted the Zionist state to disappear as the Soviet Union had done. In other words, there would be a place in a de-Zionized Palestine for all Jews who wanted to stay and live in peace with their fellow Arab citizens.

As has been widely and accurately reported, Rabbi Yosef called on 27 August for the Palestinian Authority, its President Mahmoud Abbas and “all these evil people” (the occupied and oppressed Palestinians) to “perish from this world.” How was this to happen? “God should strike them with a plague.”

And what if God doesn’t act in the way Rabbi Yosef wishes?

He gave his own answer to that in 2001 when his subject was the Arabs. He said: “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You (the Israeli government and the IDF) must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”

But let us give credit where credit is due. Rabbi Yosef, unlike most others in Israel’s political, military and spiritual leadership, is being honest. I mean only that he dares to say in public what he really thinks.

8 comments on this post.
  1. Fred:

    There should be wide condemnation of the rabbis statement, but it does not happen. It is also probably true that many Israelis agree with him.

    The silence of American religeous leaders regarding his statement is also abysmal.

  2. HHM:


    I purchased your trilogy, Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews and have finished the first volume. Can hardly wait to read the others. I ordered three copies of the first volume to distribute. Thank you so much for the work you do.

    Here is a youtube video of Diana Buttu’s speech, Palestine refugee rights, political process and the so-called negotiations, given at the AL-AWDA conference in S.California:


    I’m so grateful someone has the courage to confront Finkelstein on his deficiencies. I was very concerned at the time that AL AWDA invited him to the conference. I certainly appreciate and use his scholarship but his opinions and reluctance to look at Zionism as the real enemy of us all represents a blind spot too huge to ignore. On a KBOO radio interview he went out of his way, off topic, to bash one-state advocates. I lost much respect for him for the way he handled the Gaza Freedom March.

    Very best wishes,


  3. Kareem:

    exactly as in the last line , atleast hes honest and say it in puplic .

    as an arab i dont know how am i suppose to take western israel supporters seriously when they complain about us and support people like this man .

  4. mary:

    How ironic that the Zionists vilify Islamic leaders such as Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi for condemning Israeli brutality against Palestinians. This Rabbi Yosef needs to be muzzled, psychoanalyzed and prescribed the appropriate anti-psychotic medication. Or maybe it is more to the point that this should be done to the Israeli government for supporting Yosef and his ilk….

  5. Quelle est la différence entre le Président Ahmadinejad et la Rabbin Yosef ?:

    [...] http://www.alanhart.net/whats-the-difference-between-president-ahmadinejad-and-rabbi-yosef/#more-126… [...]

  6. rosemary spiota:

    Not only was Iran’s leader misquoted on purpose; this was extended to say that he had “constantly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map”;

  7. Dan:

    Another difference of course would be that Rabbi Yosef has not been chosen by anyone and hardly has an authority over the affairs of the state, whereas President Ahmadinejad is the leader of the Iranian nation. In addition, purely from what I read here it is not clear whom Rabbi Yosef referred to. “The occupied and oppressed Palestinians” are clearly not his words. Is it possible that you put them into his mouth? The same is in your second citation. May be he referred to the terrorists.
    Finally, I think that they do have much in common. Both are religious fanatics quite beyond the pale. I would not surprise to hear either of them preaching violence and genocide. It’s hardly the fault of the Zionism or of the Iranian culture. It’s completely the fault of their dark interpretation of their respective superstitions.

  8. mary:

    Ahmadinejhad is no saint, but neither is he the powerful political leader the west thinks he is. He’s merely a figurehead, a public relations boy for the theocratic Iranian government. He’s given entirely too much credit for things he has neither done nor said.

    I don’t see anything “fanatical” about him in a religious sense. I’ve never heard him “preach” of anything, since he is not a religious figure, and certainly not of violence and genocide. On the other hand, I’ve heard plenty of that sort of rhetoric from Jewish rabbis. The problem in Israel now as it concerns the political climate is that right wing fanatical rabbis are gaining political ground, getting support from the government. They preach violence and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. For some reason, this fact is ignored while so much hand-wringing and tut-tutting goes on whenever Ahmadinejhad opens his mouth.

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