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Tuesday, July 30, 2013 

New chief rabbi David Lau makes racist statements about blacks

No sooner has he taken up a job he doesn't deserve, David Lau made an insulting comment about basketball players:
Incoming Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, elected to the post just last week, is already embroiled in his first scandal: A controversial recording of a remark he made on Monday about basketball players surfaced Tuesday, sparking angry responses.

Trying to convince young haredi men to refrain from the increasingly common practice of watching basketball games at neighborhood convenience stores (most haredim do not have television sets at home), the new chief rabbi asked, "Who cares if a bunch of paid 'Cushim' [a colloquial term for black people] in Tel Aviv beat a bunch of paid 'Cushim' in Greece?" [...]

Yesh Atid MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian woman to serve in the Knesset, rushed to issue a response Tuesday, saying "[Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali] Bennett was right. The Chief Rabbinate must change. It is unfathomable that a rabbi of his stature would say something so racist."
He's already taken plenty of flak for something so irrelevant to his trivial worries. If he'd just said "who cares if one basketball team beat another?" nobody would have minded. Instead, he pointlessly dragged racial issues into the mess, and now he's explained perfectly why the rabbinate is considered so irrelevant. It's possible he'll apologize, but even if he does, I think he should still resign.

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