Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol says on Israel Radio that “all mezuzah and stone kissers are fools,” using the word “stone” as a reference to the Western Wall.
Sobol is interviewed two days after Israeli painter and political pundit Yair Garbuz spoke at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and caused a furor over his comments that “lucky charm kissers and pagan worshipers” are controlling the country.
Garboz’s comments have awakened the decades-old charge that the Israeli left is secular, elitist and white.
Likud officials were quick to capitalize on the comments, with MK Ofir Akunis saying his speech was “a sequel to Dudu Topaz’s speech” from June 1971, an address by the late entertainer who said at the time he was “happy to see no browns in the crowd.” Former prime minister Menachem Begin, a day later, accused Topaz of racism and swept the crowd with his words “Ashkenazi? Iraqi? Jews! Brothers!”