World Bulletin / News Desk
An influential Israeli rabbi has called for prayers for Iran's destruction, a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to court his support for a possible attack on a nuclear programme.
The sermon by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef added to a flurry of recent rhetoric from Israeli officials that has raised international concern that Israel, widely believed to own nuclear weapons, might attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
"(When) we ask God to 'bring an end to our enemies', we should be thinking about Iran, those evil ones who threaten Israel. May the Lord destroy them," Yosef was quoted as saying by Israeli media on Sunday.
Last week, Netanyahu sent his national security adviser to brief Yosef, 91, to win his backing for any future military strike, possibly before the U.S. presidential vote in November.
Yosef, a former Israeli chief rabbi, is the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a key member of Netanyahu's governing coalition.
Yosef issued his call in a sermon late on Saturday in which he said Iran should be included in a traditional Jewish New Year blessing next month over food in which God is asked to strike down Israel's enemies.
Yosef wields significant influence over Shas's lawmakers, who seek his guidance on policy.
In the past, the Baghdad-born Yosef has stirred controversy by likening Palestinians to snakes, calling for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to "perish from this world" and describing non-Jews as "born only to serve us".Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2012, 17:17