Israeli chief rabbi calls black people ‘monkeys’

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One of Israel’s chief rabbis called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon.

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef’s comments were denounced as ”racially charged” and “utterly unacceptable” by the Anti-Defamation League, a New York City-based organisation devoted to battling anti-Semitism and racism.

During his weekly sermon, the rabbi used a derogatory Hebrew term for a black person, before going on to call a black person a “monkey,” according to footage published by the Ynet news site.

His office said he was citing a passage from the Talmud – the book of Jewish law.

Mr Yosef represents Israel’s Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent.

He has previously courted controversy for suggesting secular women behave like animals because they dress immodestly.