IDF chief rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz .
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
The IDF's chief rabbi, Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz, was recorded speaking strongly against members of the Muslim faith who pray at the Temple Mount. In a transcript of a religious lecture uploaded to the website Kippa, at Mechina Atzmona, Peretz is quoted as answering student questions regarding the significance of the Temple Mount in Islam. Channel 10 later aired a recording of the lecture.
"Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once," Peretz said. "Not at all. Not even once. You know what? It's not even hinted at. You know what? 90% of Arabs don't know what's written in the Koran. I'm telling you this--we know a lot better than them," he added.
Addressing Al-Aksa, the chief rabbi can be heard asking, "What are they doing at the Temple Mount? [if the Muslims] bow down to Mecca in prayer, while their behinds are turned to the Temple Mount."
Peretz's speech lasted around an hour. The lecture was not given while the rabbi donned his IDF uniform.
The Brig.-Gen. released a statement through the IDF's Spokesperson Office asking to clarify that his words were taken out of context and "do not reflect the views of the IDF's chief rabbi." The IDF message conveyed that "the Rabbi apologizes if his words offended the Arab population."