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A high-profile religious-Zionist rabbi - and the father-in-law of the IDF officer who hit a protester with his rifle last week - says Jews from North Africa and the Middle East are "purer" than European Jews but are no match for them intellectually.

Yehoshua Zuckerman - father-in-law of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, who was filmed striking a Danish pro-Palestinian activist - granted an interview to a pamphlet distributed on the Sabbath in Jerusalem synagogues. He tried to explain the difference between Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews.

"A Moroccan Jew can't say anything about faith in the Western discourse. They can't match Ashkenazi knowledge," he told the pamphlet. "So what do they do? They connect to simple nationalism and vote Likud." Zuckerman taught for years at Mercaz Harav, religious Zionism's most prominent yeshiva.

"Sephardi Jews are more natural and purer than Ashkenazim because, unlike the Ashkenazim who went as far as Europe, the Sephardi Jews didn't move that far away, didn't live among Christians and studied the Zohar," he said, referring to the key work in Jewish mystical thought.

Zuckerman added that Sephardi Jews didn't study the Zohar "extensively or deeply, so they lack a well-founded opinion."