Orthodox singer uses racial slur to describe President Obama


One of the Orthodox world’s most famous Jewish singers has caused controversy over a remark he made about President Barak Obama during a concert.

Mordechai Werdyger, more commonly known by his stage name of Mordechai Ben David or MBD, he told the audience in Hebrew during a gig in Jerusalem: “Do you know when there will be peace? In a few weeks, when there will be a new president in the United States.”

Video footage shows the audience bursting into applause at the words, with the 65-year old performer immediately adding: “And the kushi goes home.”

The word “kushi” is used in the Bible to describe someone from Kush – Ethiopia. However, in modern Israeli society the word is commonly regarded as a racist term to describe black people. 

The Brooklyn-based Chasidic singer, sometimes known as “the king of Jewish music”, has produced over 30 albums over a career spanning four decades, with many of his tunes now known outside the Orthodox community.

The latest UN resolution to criticise Israel, which the US did not veto and which the Obama administration has been accused of facilitating, has led to widespread anger in Jerusalem. The resolution calls for Israel to end all building on land it gained during the Six Day War, which includes the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall.

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