Godfather of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Godfather of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Following an angry backlash, the Shas political party in Israel has pulled a campaign commercial that suggested that some of the one million plus Russian immigrants in Israel are not real Jew.

Shas is a “haredi,” a rigidly Orthodox Jewish political party that claims to represent the Sephardic community in Israel.  Sephardic Jews trace their historical lineage to the Spanish inquisition of 1492.  Many Spanish (Sephardi) Jews emigrated from Spain to countries in southern Europe, North Africa and what are today predominately Arab countries.

Ultra Orthodox Jews  of all lineage are skeptical of  conversions to Judaism that are not performed under their supervision.  (WHO IS A JEW CONTROVERSY)