JERUSALEM (JTA) — The spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas Party condemned President Obama for pressuring Israel on settlements.
"’You can’t build here, you can’t build there’ — it’s as if we were their slaves," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of the haredi party said in his weekly Saturday night speech, which was dedicated mostly to the laws of this week’s Tisha B’Av fast.
"Our Messiah will come and throw them out," he said of the Palestinians.
Yosef also lamented the current situation at the Temple Mount, saying "Where is our temple? There are Arabs there!"
Meanwhile, some observers believe that Shas could be harmed seriously by the money-laundering affair in New Jersey, Ha’aretz reported.
Shas and Shas-affiliated yeshivas have received a great deal of charitable funding from the American Syrian-Jewish community, and it has been speculated that donations will drop with the scandal becoming public last week. Several rabbis in Deal, N.J., and Brooklyn from the wealthy, tightly knit communities were arrested.
Among the key figures arrested was Rabbi Eliahu Ben Haim, a close friend of Yosef’s son, Rabbi David Yosef.