An Orthodox rabbi has claimed the spread of the coronavirus in his home country of Israel and globally is divine retribution for “evil” gay pride parades.
The Times of Israel reported Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in the city of Bnei Brak, made the remarks at a service on Saturday.
During the talk, Mazuz reportedly lashed LGBTIQ pride parades as “a parade against nature”.
“When someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him,” he said.
Mazuz said countries grappling with coronavirus are supposedly facing such “revenge” for their pride events. However, he believes Arab countries are supposedly spared because they “don’t have this evil inclination”.
The Rabbi went on to falsely claim there is only one case of infection in the Arab world.
He said the outbreak in Iran, one of the worst in the world, was due to Iranians’ “wicked ways” and “their hatred of Israel.”
Israeli Rabbi slammed for ‘inciting hatred’ amid coronavirus crisis
The Rabbi’s homophobic diatribe drew condemnation from humans rights groups, who want him to apologise.
The Israel branch of the Anti-Defamation League blasted the Rabbi’s statement.
“It is regrettable that in times like these, when the whole world comes together to eradicate coronavirus, Rabbi Mazuz finds it appropriate to blame the virus’s outbreak on the LGBTQ community,” they said.
“We harshly condemn his statements and urge him to apologize.”
The modern Orthodox Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah group also condemned Mazuz’s remarks, the Times reported.
“Using this time of need to incite against the LGBT community is unacceptable,” it said in a statement.
“Trying to get people to return to religion cannot come at the price of harming others.”
Israel holds two high-profile pride parades each year, one in capital city Jerusalem and the other in Tel Aviv.
Haaretz reported on Monday 39 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus. None have died, but thousands of Israelis are reportedly in isolation.
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