Once again Israel’s racist rabbis, funded and supported by the State, have issued a fatwa banning the sale of homes by Jews to Arabs. This is, of course, understandable in Zionist terms. A Jewish state does not wish to be diluted by Arabs intermixing and intermarrying and living amongst Jews. On this the rabbis are quite clear. These are not odd individuals but a religious ruling signed by ‘dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis.’ And the excuse? That property values for Jews will be lowered!
And there are those still who fail to see or understand the Nazification of Israel. This excuse, of property prices, is of the direct consequence of racism to begin with. If Arabs weren’t so hated by Israeli Jews to begin with, Arabs would have no more effect on property prices than if they possessed brown instead of blue eyes.
Benjamin Netanyahu has finally issued a criticism of the ruling under pressure, but of course without any sanction such as jail time. That is reserved for Arabs who might fall into a chauvinistic trap, not their tormentors.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Press Release
7 December 2010
Israeli rabbis ban home sale and rental to non-Jews
Amnesty International today condemned a religious ruling signed by dozens of Israel’s municipal chief rabbis that bans the renting or sale of homes to non-Jews.
“This ruling issued by religious leaders employed by the state of Israel, whose salaries are paid by public funds, clearly targets the Palestinian citizens who make up 20 per cent of Israel’s population, and highlights the continuing discrimination they face in housing and other areas,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
While the ruling is not official government policy, the rabbis issuing it include the influential Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed, and his counterparts in a number of other Israeli cities and municipalities, all of whom are essentially government employees.
In October, Rabbi Eliyahu had written a letter urging Jews not to sell or rent apartments to non-Jews, apparently in response to Arab students seeking accommodation in order to attend a local college. It was signed by 18 other rabbis.
“The message these calls send to Palestinian citizens throughout Israel could not be clearer - that discrimination against Palestinian citizens seeking housing is backed by religious authorities,” said Philip Luther.
Rabbi Eliyahu’s October letter also called for action to be taken against Jews who rent or sell homes or apartments to Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
“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 [ostracize] him until he goes back on this harmful deed,”In November, the Israeli Minority Affairs Minister requested that the Justice Minister investigate Rabbi Eliyahu for incitement, with a view to suspending him from his post as municipal rabbi.
As far as Amnesty International is aware, the Justice Minister has yet to take action on the matter.
“The Israeli government, as a party to international human rights treaties that prohibit discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, and religion, must repudiate this call by leading rabbis, take disciplinary measures against Rabbi Eliyahu and other state employees advocating racism, and work to facilitate access to housing and higher education for Palestinian citizens in Israel,”said Philip Luther.
Jerusalem - Fifty Israeli rabbis have signed an open letter warning Jews not to let or sell property to non-Jews, saying those who do should be "ostracised", a copy of the letter showed on Tuesday.
"In answer to the many questions, we say that it is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner," says the letter, referring to the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible.
The text, which was signed mostly by state-employed rabbis, warns "he who sells or rents them a flat in an area where Jews live causes great harm to his neighbours".
"After someone sells or rents just one flat, the value of all the neighbouring flats drops... He who sells or rents (to non-Jews) causes his neighbours a big loss and his sin is great," the letter said, in what was largely understood to refer to Israel's Arab minority.
"Anyone who sells (property to a non-Jew) must be cut off!!"
According to the Israeli news website Ynet, the letter was to be published in religious newspapers and distributed in synagogues across the country later this week.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel slammed the letter as "racist" and called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn "the incitement expressed by the rabbis".
Call for Netanyahu to intervene
"Rabbis who are civil servants have an obligation to the entire public, including Israel's Arab citizens. It is unthinkable that they would use their public status to promote racism and incitement," the group said in a statement.
The organisation called on Netanyahu to take disciplinary action against state-employed rabbis who signed the document.
The letter appeared as tensions grow between religious Jewish and Arab-Israeli residents of the northern town of Safed, where local rabbi Shmuel Eliahu has called on Jews to avoid letting or selling property to Arabs.
There is a college in Safed that attracts Arab-Israeli students from the surrounding area, many of whom seek accommodation in the town while studying.
In October, a group of Jewish youths attacked several Arab-Israeli students at the college, shouting "death to Arabs" in an incident police had to break up.
Some 1.3 million Arab Israelis live in Israel, which represents about 20% of the population. They are made up of Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel's establishment in 1948, and their descendants.