The Jewish Telegraphic Agency website reports today that the U.S. State Department and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have condemned inflammatory statements by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
On the eve of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Yosef -- a former chief Sepharic rabbi and the spiritual leader of the Shas Party -- wished for the demise of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Yosef said during his weekly Saturday night sermon at a Jerusalem synagogue, using Abbas' byname. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."
The ADL yesterday (August 30, 2010) condemned Yosef's statements as "offensive and incendiary," cautioning that his words "contribute to a potentially dangerous environment of intolerance and hatred."