Shas Spiritual Leader Calls Teachers ‘asses’

The spiritual leader of the fervently Orthodox Shas Party called Israel’s secular teachers “asses.”

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef made the comment Saturday during his weekly Sabbath address. He said the teachers in the secular schools don’t know anything about the Sabbath or Jewish holidays and they teach “nonsense.”

Shas is aiming to win 18 seats in the Feb. 10 Knesset elections. Yosef and the party leaders say they want the education portfolio in the new government, so they can add more about Judaism in the curriculum of the secular schools.

It was not the first time Yosef has called secular teachers asses.

Education Minister Yuli Tamir demanded that Yosef apologize publicly for his statement. Many of the major candidates for party leadership or the position of prime minister also condemned the statement.

“Anyone who wants the education portfolio to be in Shas’ hands shouldn’t vote for me,” Kadima Party chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Sunday.

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