Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Chief Orthodox Rabbi of Israel Hit for Racism; Urged Jews Not to Watch Black Basketball Players

David Lau -- the recently elected chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Israel -- was broadly condemned for a racist comment he made yesterday regarding basketball players at the Maccabiah Games, the Forward (Jewish) website reports today (July 31, 2013).

Exhorting his haredi Orthodox constituents to devote their time to learning Torah -- instead of watching basketball -- Lau said, "Why do you care about whether the 'kushim' who get paid in Tel Aviv beat the 'kushim' who get paid in Greece?" (Kushim is a derogatory Israeli slang term for blacks.)

According to "The Jerusalem Post," Knesset Education and Sports Committee Chairman Amram Mitzna said it was "very unfortunate that rabbis who are supposed to guide the way ethically fail time and time again by making racist statements."

Lau -- who was elected last week as Chief Rabbi of Israel -- canceled a planned vacation abroad after his racist remarks were published.

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