Jonathan Cook – Israel turns blind eye to racist state-employed rabbis
From the Electronic Intifada:
Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 9 December 2010
An Israeli holds a sign reading “Jewish and Arab solidarity for justice and equality” at a protest outside Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue against a religious decree by fifty of Israel’s leading rabbis, 8 December 2010. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)
Jews must not rent homes to “gentiles.” That was the religious decree issued this week by at least fifty of Israel’s leading rabbis, many of them employed by the state as municipal religious leaders. Jews should first warn, then “ostracize” fellow Jews who fail to heed the directive, the rabbis declared.
The decree is the latest in a wave of racist pronouncements from some of Israel’s most influential rabbis.
In October, Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed, delivered a ruling, signed by 17 other rabbis in the city, telling Jewish residents not to sell or rent property to members of the country’s Palestinian Arab minority, who make up a fifth of the population.
His followers turned words into deeds by attacking Arab students in the city and threatening to burn down the homes of Jewish landlords renting to the students.