Washington – Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's special envoy to the Middle East, denounced on Wednesday racist comments made by Israeli rabbis from a yeshiva in the West Bank that prepares young Israelis for military service.
The remarks by the two rabbis included assertions that Arabs are genetically inferior and that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's ideology was correct.
"These outlier comments are disgusting, do not represent Judaism and I condemn them," Greenblatt wrote on his Twitter account. "Hate speech of all forms is vile and as we increasingly see, leads to deadly attacks. We must fight all forms of hatred."
In recordings aired by Israel's Channel 13 News, Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, head of the Bnei David academy in Eli, is heard saying that "the Arab wants to be under the occupation because they have a genetic problem, they don't know how to manage a country, they don't know how to do anything," and that "we believe in racism." Rabbi Giora Redel was recorded saying that Hitler was "correct in his ideology" and "is one hundred percent correct, except for the fact that he's on the wrong side."
Also Wednesday, Greenblatt paid a condolence visit to the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California that was the target of an anti-Semitic attack on Saturday. He also visited the family of Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was murdered in the attack.
Greenblatt was the first senior administration official to visit the synagogue and the victims of the attack. He wrote that the visit "was very moving" and that Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the leader of the congregation which was targeted, is "a pillar of strength for his community."