JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi said that non-Jews should not live in the Land of Israel unless they accept the seven Noahide laws.
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef made the statement during his weekly Saturday night lecture, Israel’s Channel 10 first reported. Channel 10 obtained a copy of a recording of the lecture, which it posted on its website.
“According to Jewish law, gentiles should not live in the Land of Israel,” Yosef said. “If a gentile does not agree to take on the seven Noahide Laws, we should send him to Saudi Arabia. When the true and complete redemption arrives, that is what we will do.”
The laws include prohibitions against idolatry, blaspheming God, murder, forbidden sexual relations, stealing and eating the limb off of a live animal and proscribes the establishment of a legal system.
Non-Jews who remain in Israel are here to serve the Jews who live in Israel, according to the rabbi. “Who will be the servers? Who will be our assistants? Therefore, we leave them here in the land,” he said.
The only reason the non-Jews continue to remain in Israel is that the Messiah has not yet come.
“If our hand were firm, if we had the power to rule, that’s what we should do. But the thing is, our hand is not firm, and we are waiting for the Messiah,” he said.
Earlier this month, Yosef, who is the son of the former chief rabbi of Israel the late Ovadia Yosef, raised hackles when he asserted during his weekly lecture that it is a mitzvah to kill a terrorist.
“If a terrorist is coming with a knife, it’s a mitzvah to kill him,” he said on March 12.
“One shouldn’t start being afraid that someone will petition the High Court of Justice or some chief of staff will come and say something different. There is no need to be afraid. ‘He who comes to kill you, get up and kill him,’” he added, citing a rabbinic commandment dealing with self-defense.
Yosef also asserted that the threat of being killed by an attacker’s would-be victim will deter such attacks.
“When a terrorist knows if he comes with a knife he won’t return alive, it deters them, so therefore it’s a mitzvah to kill him,” he said.