An orthodox Israeli Rabbi is under fire for claiming the spread of the coronavirus in Israel and around the world is God’s retribution against gay Pride parades.
The controversial remarks by Rabbi Meir Mazuz were reported Sunday in the Israel Hayom Daily and condemnation from human rights organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, which asked him to apologize, The Times of Israel reports.
“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,” the ADL noted in a statement. “We harshly condemn his statements and urge him to apologize.”
Mazuz carries plenty of influence in Israel, and he’s currently the leader of the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in in Bnei Brak.
While speaking at the Yeshiva Saturday, the Rabbi discussed Pride parades, calling them a “parade against nature,” according to The Times of Israel.
“And when someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him,” Mazuz told his audience.
That revenge is in the form of the coronavirus he added, saying COVID-19 is a problem all countries are dealing with “except for the Arab countries that don’t have this evil inclination.”
Mazuz then claimed Israel would be protected from the virus, apparently unaware that 39 cases have been reported there, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.