Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, trying to shore up support before the release of the Winograd Committee report Wednesday evening, falsely stated that Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef expressed his support for him by using a phrase from the Bible, the Post reported. Rabbi Yosef is the spiritual leader of the Shas party, a crucial part of the Olmert coalition government.
The office of the Prime Minister reported Tuesday that the rabbi phoned and quoted from the Bible, "Do not fear and do not lose resolve, for I am with you." Shas officials told the newspaper that the rabbi does not use that expression and made no such statement.
"The real story is that Olmert requested that the rabbi call him to wish him well," a Shas official said. He added that the phone call lasted for one minute.