Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Rabbi Ovadiah ztz"l and the Arabs

ה' לחודש השמיני תשע"ד

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l

אליאור לוי, 07.10.13
הנשיא הפלסטיני אבו מאזן הביע את תנחומיו על פטירתו של הרב עובדיה יוסף. "נפגשתי עם בני משפחתו של הרב במוקטעה ברמאללה בעבר ואני רוצה להעביר את תנחומיי ואת תנחומי העם הפלסטיני על מותו", אמר אבו מאזן.

הנשיא הפלסטיני אמר את הדברים במהלך מפגש במוקטעה ברמאללה עם חברי שדולת פתרון שתי המדינות בראשות חבר הכנסת חיליק בר ממפלגת העבודה.

YNET: Abu Mazen expressed his condolences over the passing of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef

Elior Levy, October 7, 2013

The Palestinian President Abu Mazen expressed his condolences over the passing of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef. "I have met with members of the Rabbi's family at the Muqatah in Ramallah in the past, and I would like to pass on my condolences and the condolences of the Palestinian People over his passing," said Abu Mazen.

The Palestinian President said these during a meeting at the Muqatah in Ramallah with the members of a Two-State Solution lobby led by MK Hiliq Bar of the Labor Party.

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
When I first heard the Rav Ovadiah died, the first thing I search for on the Internet was news as to how the Arabs were reacting. I thought for sure that I would find photos of Pseudostinian Arabs cheering over his death, just like during the First Gulf War when the scuds from Iraq hit Tel-Aviv, on 9/11, and during the Second Lebanon War, even when Hezbollah Qetusha rockets killed their own in Nazareth.

Obviously, I searched too soon,...and I didn't search in Arabic.

What I did find was the above newsflash from YNET.

If nothing else, it reveals just how complex Rav Ovadiah was. He threatened former Prime Minister Menahem Begin with a withdrawal of support in government if he carried out a his promised withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. On the other hand, Rav Ovadiah supported the Oslo Accords, and ruled that it was acceptable to give up land for the sake of piqu'ah nefesh (saving/protecting life). His Sha"S Party could easily have killed the Oslo Accords, but instead, abstained from the vote.

They want it all!
But, the biggest puzzle seems to be Abu Mazen's comments, considering just how much Rav Ovadiah did not care for Arabs. Even if he had differentiated between these Arabs and those Arabs, I doubt that would please Abu Mazen.

So, what motivated Abu Mazen to make the comments he did? Appreciation for Rav Ovadiah's role in the passage of the Oslo Accords? Or just pure politics?


Israel Tachlis said...

The Arab/Muslim world is also highly complex - just look at how many tribal lines they were able to draw and kill each other over in Libya or now in Syria. From what I'm aware, the Rav didn't have such endearing feelings for "Palestinian" arabs, however he reportedly had a very warm relationship with Hosni Mubarak It's said that at the end of their first meeting, Mubarak told everyone but Rav Ovadia to leave the room and when they were alone he asked him for a bracha. Growing up in Baghdad Rav Ovadia was probably more familiar with the arabs and their tribal/political structures than most.

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks for your comments.

I'm not sure if I would say "highly."

Your comments reveal just how odd Abu Mazen's comments were, if Rav Ovadiah disliked the Pseudostinian Arabs (Not too many in the Arab world like them either.).

As I said here, Rav Ovadiah definitely understood this world better than most, and certainly better than anyone in the Ashkenazy communities.

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