A popular Hasidic Jewish singer used a racially offensive slur to slam outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama during a concert in Jerusalem on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Singer Mordechai Ben David, a 65-year-old Brooklynite who has recorded more than a dozen albums of Jewish music, launched a verbal attack on Pres. Obama Thursday evening as he belted out a song about peace in the Middle Eastern country of Israel.
“Do you know when there will be peace?” David said to the audience, in Hebrew. “In a few weeks, when there will be a new president in the United States and the ‘kushi’ goes home.”
The crowd erupted in ecstatic applause at the singer’s remarks, footage from the December performance showed.
The term “kushi,” derived from the biblical word for an Ethiopian or Black African, is a modern Hebrew term used to describe Black people or Africans and is viewed as derogatory, according to Israeli news site Arutz Sheva.
Prominent Israeli government and Jerusalem officials also were in the audience at David’s concert, including Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Newsweek reported. Both officials are avid supporters of president-elect Donald Trump and expressed that the incoming president would likely be a better friend to Israel than Obama was.
Barkat also said he was confident that the real estate tycoon-turned-politician would follow through on his campaign promise to move Israel’s U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
“I don’t just expect, I know that he will do it,” Barkat told the cheering crowd. “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.”
David’s sharp invective toward the POTUS comes after the U.S. passed up a vote at the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 23, which made all Israeli settlements built since 1967 on occupied Palestinian land illegal, Newsweek reported. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was quick to criticize Pres. Obama and accused his administration of conspiring behind Israel’s back to pass the decision.
The news magazine reported that tensions over the U.N.-Israel vote reached a fever pitch after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech criticizing the Jewish state’s settlement policy just one week later. Relations between the two nations have slowly declined over the past few decades.