Shas: Reports of Rav Yosef’s Support for New Building Freeze are False


rav-ovadiah-yosefA spokesman for Shas said today that Chacham Ovadiah Yosef, head of the Shas party’s Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah, believes that Jews should continue to build in Yerushalayim despite United States opposition. The spokesman said that a report in the Hebrew-language daily Maariv (reported earlier today here on stating that Rav Yosef believes that Israel must restore its relations with the U.S. government¬†at any cost even if it is required to stop building in Yerushalayim is absolutely false.

“Rav Ovadia Yosef has directed Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai to continue to oppose any building freeze in Yerushalayim…” said the spokesman.

The Maariv commentator who wrote the report claimed the remarks were made by Rav Yosef during a meeting with President Shimon Peres on Chol Hamoed Pesach.

Maariv had reported Rav Yosef as saying, “We must do everything to get along with the Americans,” he said. “We have to pay any price to rebuild the relationship, and we should not provoke the nations of the world…”

The report stated that Peres had attempted to garner Rav Yosef’s support for his own proposal which would have Israel cease all construction for Jews in the Arab neighborhoods of Yerushalayim that were under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967. Construction, according to this plan, would go on in the newer Jewish neighborhoods in all parts of the city. Peres claimed, according to Maariv, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed support for his plan, but doesn’t want to make his support public.

 {Yair Israel}