Chacham Ovadiah: Benizri’s Judges Are “Kofrim”


chacham-ovadiah-yosef[Video below.] Chacham Ovadia Yosef, head of the Shas Party’s  Moetzes Chachmei HaTorah, harshly slammed the Israeli legal system today following the decision to send former Minister Shlomo Benizri, who was convicted of taking a bribe, to four years in prison. Rav Ysoef referred to the judges in the Benizri trial as kofrim (heretics).

 “We deeply regret the evil trial given to our active friends, who has always engaged leharbitz Torah ulehaadirah (in teaching and praising the Torah),” Chacham Ovadiah said. “It’s a shame that we have such a distorted court. They have no religion, no judgment, they don’t believe in anything.”

Benizri was convicted of taking a bribe from contractor Moshe Sela during his tenure as labor and welfare minister. The former minister received many benefits from the contractor, from large sums of money, through electric appliances, to cleaning services.

About a month ago, Supreme Court judges aggravated the former Shas minister’s sentence after he was convicted of taking a bribe. Justice Edmond Levy explained that “the increasing corruption in the Israeli government institutions requires us to do something by setting a higher price tag.”

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai recently sent a letter to President Shimon Peres, asking him to pardon the former minister. “As a public figure, as a member of the Sephardic community, and as the deputy prime minister, I believe there is no other request for mercy which is more justified,” the Shas chairman wrote on behalf of his party.

Last week, Courts Administration Director Moshe Gal asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to investigate whether Benizri’s brother, David, was in contempt of court for remarks he made against Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy.

In a radio interview, David Benizri slammed the judge, calling him “evil and rude” and applied to him the halachic ruling that anyone making judgments according to law and not the Jewish Law, is “evil, rude and raising his hand to Toras Moshe.”

Click below for a video of Chacham Ovadiah’s remarks:

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{Yair Israel/Ynet}


  1. Will corruption and bribes every end in the holy land? Why wasn’t Ezra Weitzman, Olmert & the Sharon sons ever sent to jail for their corruptions and $$$ takings?