Jewish singer Mordechai Ben David uses racial slur to describe Barack Obama at Jerusalem concert

The ancient Hebrew term originally was used to describe Ethiopians but it has since become a pejorative word to describe all black people

Peter Walker@petejohn_walker
Friday 06 January 2017 02:07
Israeli singer makes racial slur against Obama at Jerusalem concert, crowd cheers him on

A popular Jewish singer received rapturous applause and cheers a when he used a derogatory racial slur to describe Barack Obama at a concert in Jerusalem.

Mordechai Ben David referred to the departing US president as a “kushi”.

The ancient Hebrew term originally described specifically Ethiopians, or at least black Africans of Ethopian origin.

However, it has since become a pejorative word to describe all black people.

Mr David's comment was followed with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's support for Donald Trump YouTube

“Do you know when there will be peace?” asked the 65-year-old, in Hebrew, speaking immediately following the performance of a song about peace.

“In a few weeks, when there will be a new president in the United States, and the kushi goes home.”

The thunderous reaction is muffled by a wind orchestra and the onset of another song.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd from left) and Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat (2nd from right) Abir Sultan/AFP/Getty

Mr David, an Orthodox Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn whose singing career dates back more than 40 years, has previously been coined the “Michael Jackson of Jewish rock”.

A concert in Manchester in 2004, headlined with Mr David, was branded “immoral” and “a negative influence on young people” by British rabbis at the time.

The criticism was shrugged off by the organiser as “rubbish”.

Government officials, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, were also at the 29 December arena event in Jerusalem, including Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Mr Barkat has said he is confident Mr Trump will uphold his highly controversial promise of shifting Israel’s US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I don’t just expect, I know that he will do it,” said Mr Barkat.

“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.”

The Independent contacted Israel's Ministry of Culture and Sport and Mr David for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Relations between Mr Obama’s administration and Israel have been strained for some time.

But tensions increased after a candid speech from Secretary of State John Kerry and a divisive United Nations ruling about Israeli settlements on disputed territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusation that Mr Obama carried out a “shameful ambush” by abstaining from a key UN vote.

The UN Security Council declared all Israeli settlements, constructed since 1967 on occupied Palestinian land, illegal.

Mr Kerry’s blunt speech said a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians was the “only way” to achieve peace.

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