In a latest show of enmity towards the Islamic Republic, an influential Israeli rabbi has called for prayers for Iran’s destruction, claiming that Tehran’s nuclear energy program threatens Israel.
The chief Rabbi of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Ovadia Yosef, asked God to “wipe out and destroy” Iran and Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah during his weekly sermon on Saturday night.
“Do good, God, wipe them out, kill them,” he entreated, to which the assembled crowd answered “amen”.
“Destroy them God, obliterate them from the face of the earth,” he added.
The 91-year-old rabbi made the remarks days after he had a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror. The move is widely seen as an effort by Netanyahu to show that any possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities has the support of the religious figure.
The rabbi also said that Iran should be included in a traditional Jewish New Year blessing next month over food in which God is asked to strike down Israel’s enemies.
This is the second time in a row that Yosef has spoken about the threat of Iran’s nuclear energy program. Shas party is a key member of Netanyahu’s governing coalition and Yosef wields significant influence over the party’s lawmakers, who seek his guidance on policy.
It is not the first time that Yosef stirs controversy, in the past, he likened Palestinians to snakes, calling for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to be “perished from this world” and describing non-Jews as “born only to serve us”.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly threatened Iran with a military strike, saying that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Israelis have recently held several anti-war protests in Tel Aviv and a recent poll conducted on Jewish Israelis shows that 61 percent of those questioned oppose an Israeli strike, compared to 27 percent in favor.
Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes.
Culled from Press TV