An Orthodox Israeli rabbi had described the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as divine “revenge” against LGBT Pride events.

Rabbi Meir Mazuz, an influential Sephardic rabbi, had previously promised that the virus would not reach Israel “because we are strict about the words of the Torah by washing hands and the rest of the commandments,” Israel Hayom reported. As of Saturday, the number of coronavirus cases in Israel was at 178.

"The Pride Parade is a parade against nature, and whoever acts against nature, he who created nature will avenge him. When you do things against nature, you are sticking your hand in the fire and praying that the fire will not burn you. It will burn you! Here they have the insolence to revolt against nature, the Pride Parade, what are you proud of?" Muzuz said during a talk at the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak, which he heads.

"All the countries that have this [evil] are all [suffering from the coronavirus] except for the Arab states that do not have this evil inclination, this thing, and aren't suffering from this disease.”

He explained that Iran's outbreak was because they “are horrible Israel haters.”

"They say that in Tunisia there's just one person who's been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and none in the rest of the Arab world, except Iran where people have bad character traits and are horrible Israel haters. [Arabs] avoid eating dangerous things (unkosher food) and being like us," Mazuz claimed.

The Israeli chapter of the Anti-Defamation League condemned Mazuz's remarks.

“It is very regrettable and unfortunate that in the moments that the entire world is united in order to eradicate the coronavirus, Rabbi Mazuz finds it correct to blame the LGBTQ community, and to treat members [of the community] as if they were responsible for the outbreak of the disease. We strongly condemn these words and call on the rabbi to apologize,” the group said in a Facebook post.