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Israeli Rabbis to forbid Arab home renting

A new religious ruling was signed Tuesday by dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis that would prohibit the renting homes to non-Jews

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Dec 2010
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A new religious ruling was signed Tuesday by dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis that would prohibit the renting homes to non-Jews.

The move is particularly directed against Arabs according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

A group of 18 rabbis had signed a call urging Jews to refrain from selling or renting houses to non-Jews. Most signatories come from the city of Safed, which has seen an increase in the number of Arab students enrolling at the local college.

Shmuel Eliyahu, Safed’s chief rabbis is one of the most prominent figures signing the letter. Eliyahu has been criticised before for provocative statements directed against Arabs.

"Their way of life is different than that of Jews," an excerpt of the letter affirms as published in Haaretz. "Among [the gentiles] are those who are bitter and hateful toward us and who meddle into our lives to the point where they are a danger."   

The letter also calls for Jews to report those who continue to rent or sell houses to Arabs.

"The neighbours and acquaintances [of a Jew who sells or rents to an Arab] must distance themselves from the Jew, refrain from doing business with him, deny him the right to read from the Torah, and similarly [ostracise] him until he goes back on this harmful deed," it states.

Eliyahu is the same rabbi who had called for a carpet bombing Gaza “regardless of the price of Palestinian life” as was quoted in the Jerusalem Post in May 2007.

In Haaretz, he was quoted calling for “state-sanctioned revenge” against the Arabs in 2008.

"[The state] has to pain them to the point where they scream 'Enough,' to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream 'help,” he said.

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