Israeli rabbis line up to endorse ban on renting/selling property to non-Jews
Agence France Presse (AFP); December 10, 2010
JERUSALEM — Scores more Israeli rabbis have added their names to a document calling on Jews to avoid renting or selling property to non-Jews, despite an outpouring of criticism, media reported on Thursday.
Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that some 300 religious figures had signed the public statement, which warns that “it is forbidden in the Torah [read ‘Talmud’ — 800] to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner.”
The document first emerged on Tuesday, and was swiftly condemned by figures across Israeli society, from rabbinical groups and rights organizations to politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The statement calls for those who rent or sell property to non-Jews to be ostracized by the larger community.
“After someone sells or rents just one flat, the value of all the neighboring flats drops … He who sells or rents (to non-Jews) causes his neighbors a big loss and his sin is great,” it says.
“Anyone who sells (property to a non-Jew) must be cut off!!”
The manifesto quotes extensively from Jewish writings, including from the Bible. It cites Exodus 23:33 [entirely out of context, of course — 800], which reads: “Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”
The document initially garnered the signatures of some 50 rabbis, most of them employed by the state and minister to Jewish communities across Israel.
By Thursday, that number had reportedly grown to more than 300, prompting widespread condemnation and calls for Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to take action against the signatories on grounds of incitement to racism.
Weinstein’s office promised to look into the allegations.
“The attorney general has instructed the relevant bodies in our office to examine whether there exist criminal or disciplinary aspects to the document attributed to the rabbis,” Weinstein’s assistant wrote in reply to an opposition MP, in a letter made public by the justice ministry.
[And, of course, no mainstream media report touching on the issue of racism would be complete without the following dose of Jewish suffering and obligatory comparison with the ‘Holocaust’ — 800]
Noah Flug, head of the International Association of Holocaust Survivors, told Ynet he was shocked by the content of the letter, saying it reminded him of when the Nazis banned Jews from living near them.
“I remember the German Nazis throwing Jews out of their apartments and city centers in order to create ghettos,” he told the news website.
“I remember how they wrote on benches that no Jews were allowed, and of course it was prohibited to sell or rent to Jews. We thought that in our country this wouldn’t happen.”
The [oxymoronically named] Association for Civil Rights in Israel has called on Netanyahu to discipline state-employed rabbis who signed the letter, and Arab-Israeli lawmaker Mohammed Barakeh called for a legal investigation.
On Wednesday, around 150 demonstrators gathered to condemn the letter in a protest outside Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue.
Speaking to Haaretz newspaper, parliamentary speaker Reuven Rivlin described the public statement “as an embarrassment to the Jewish people, and another nail in the coffin of Israeli democracy.”
Despite the condemnation, Menachem Friedman, a specialist on the Jewish world at Bar Ilan University, said there was widespread support for the views in the letter.
“They are expressing the fears of the whole population, particularly those in the poorest sectors of society,” he told AFP.
“The threats that Israel faces comes from Islamism, and the hostile positions the state takes towards the Arab minority contributes to fear and creates a ghetto mentality among the Jews, even though they are the majority in Israel.”
Historian Ilan Greilsammer agreed, saying the sentiments expressed in the letter were merely a reflection of what people were actually thinking.
“The rabbis are saying above what the people are thinking below. What’s new is that they are expressing it publicly.”
Israel has 1.3 million Arab citizens — Palestinians who remained in the country following the [illegitimate] creation of the Jewish state in 1948 and their descendants.
The above article can be found here: http://www.france24.com/en/20101209-support-grows-israeli-rabbis-racist-letter?quicktabs_1=1
‘Don’t rent to non-Jews, Israeli rabbis warn’
Agence France Presse (AFP); December 7, 2010
JERUSALEM — Fifty Israeli rabbis have signed an open letter warning Jews not to rent or sell property to non-Jews, saying those who do should be “ostracized,” a copy of the letter showed on Tuesday.
“In answer to the many questions, we say that it is forbidden in the Torah [Talmud] to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner,” says the letter, [ostensibly] referring to the Pentateuch — the first five books of the Bible.
The letter, which was signed mostly by state-employed rabbis, warns that “he who sells or rents them a flat in an area where Jews live causes great harm to his neighbors.”
“After someone sells or rents just one flat, the value of all the neighboring flats drops… He who sells or rents (to non-Jews) causes his neighbors 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 is 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 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn “the incitement expressed by the rabbis.”
“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 organization called on Netanyahu to take disciplinary action against state-employed rabbis who signed the document.
Mohammed Barakeh, an Arab-Israeli member of parliament, called the letter “supremely racist.”
“It seems that the signatories realize that the Israeli establishment is complicit in the crimes of incitement to racial hatred, so they are acting without fear,” he said in a statement.
“We call on the government’s legal adviser to undertake an inquiry into this gang and bring them to justice.”
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 renting or selling property to Arabs.
Safed’s college 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.
A November poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 46 percent of Jewish Israelis preferred not to live next door to Arabs, while two-thirds — or 67 percent — of Arabs preferred not to live next to ultra-Orthodox Jews.
It also found that 53 percent of Jewish Israelis backed government incentives for Arabs to emigrate.
Israel has 1.3 million Arab citizens — Palestinians who remained in the country after the creation of the Jewish state in 1948 and their descendants.
Arab citizens, who make up 20 percent of the population, have long complained of systematic discrimination in resources and opportunities.
The above article can be found here: http://www.france24.com/en/20101207-dont-rent-non-jews-israeli-rabbis-warn
Also see ‘Leading Israeli rabbi: Gentiles exist to serve Jews’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20101027135103140
Also see ‘Israeli rabbi says Palestinians should perish from this earth’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20101113223927431
Also see ‘Israelis told to fight holy war in Gaza’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20090505012410389
Also see ‘Israel’s war effort gains religious imperative’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20090601005812598
Also see ‘Book about killing gentile children becomes bestseller in Israel’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20100630061612374