A senior Sephardic rabbi in Israel announced on Saturday his opposition to the proposed law stipulating the death penalty for Palestinians, Arab48 has reported. Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef made his comment during his weekly sermon on Saturday, even though on several other occasions he has called for Palestinians to be killed.
His stance has embarrassed the extremist right-wing Shas party due to their close links. It has also pushed another ultra-orthodox Jewish bloc in the Knesset to put off its vote on the law until further discussions with its rabbis in order to avoid further embarrassment.
"How much will we benefit from this," Yosef asked. "All of the security personnel are saying that there is not much gained from this. We need to use judgment," Yosef said. "Putting someone to death is in the hands of the Lord. From handing down a death sentence to carrying it out, there will be a fuss in the world – Spain, France. It's not related to right wing or left wing. What is the gain from this?"
Last Wednesday, the Knesset backed a death penalty bill in a close preliminary vote. Another three rounds of voting are required for the bill to pass, according to Haaretz.