Saturday, November 20, 2010

Implications of the “Chosen People” Myth

Goyim Were Born Only to Serve Us” 

by Gary Leupp, Dissident Voice,  November 19th, 2010
Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the people of Israel.
— Israeli rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas party spiritual leader, Oct. 11, 2010
The Shas Party is a mainstream Israeli political party founded in 1984 by ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Jews. The name is an acronym for  Shomrei Torah Sephardim or “Observant Sepharadim.” (Sepharadim are for the most part Jews tracing their ancestry to the Iberian Peninsula, as opposed to the Ashkenazim who trace theirs to Germany, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. They are sometimes grouped together with the Mizrahim who have lived for centuries in the Arab Middle East, Iran and Uzbekistan.)

The party holds 11 seats in the Israeli Knesset (parliament). Its first leader, Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, served as a interior minister in the 1980s. Its current spiritual leader, 90 year old Rabbi  Ovadia Yosef, holds no political position but four Shas members now hold posts (including interior minister) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is an anti-intellectural, religiously fundamentalist party. Like many groups in the U.S., and many prominent U.S. politicians, it rejects (and misrepresents) evolutionary theory, a pillar of modern science. One of its TV campaign ads bore the message, “One old Sepharadi lady kissing a Torah book with a tear in her eye is worth more than 40 university professors who tell us we are descended from monkeys.”

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