Hasidic singer slurs Obama at Jerusalem concert

Hasidic singer slurs Obama at Jerusalem concert

Mordechai Ben David refers to US president as ‘kushi’; Mayor Nir Barkat tells audience Trump will bring embassy to capital

Popular Hasidic singer Mordechai Ben David called US President Barack Obama a “kushi,” a pejorative term for a black person, at a concert in Jerusalem.

Ben David was performing a song about peace at the December 29 concert when he told the audience: “Do you know when there will be peace? In a few weeks, when there will be a new president in the United States and the kushi goes home.”

The audience at the Jerusalem’s Pais Arena burst into applause.

Several municipal and government officials were in the audience, Yeshiva World News reported, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, both of whom addressed the audience.

Some of the comments made in Hebrew by the officials were caught on mobile phone footage.

Hasidic singer Mordechai Ben David (Screenshot from YouTube)
Hasidic singer Mordechai Ben David (Screenshot from YouTube)

Barkat declared that he expects the incoming Trump administration in the US to move the country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

“I don’t just expect, I know that he will do it,” Barkat told the crowd to applause. “He will move the embassy to Jerusalem. And in so doing he will show the way for many nations in the world for cooperation with Israel, the Jewish state. ”

During his election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to relocate the embassy, a move that is vehemently opposed by the Arab world and pro-Palestinian supporters and would have significant diplomatic impact. Previous Republican candidates have made the promise without following through.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The US and nearly every other country have their embassies in Tel Aviv. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but Palestinians claim part of eastern Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state.

US presidents have repeatedly waived a law requiring the embassy to be moved, but Trump has signaled real intention to go ahead with his campaign promise.

AFP contributed to this report.

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