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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101207/ap_ ... cal_rabbis
Top Israel rabbis: Don't sell property to non-Jews
By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Amy Teibel, Associated Press
1 hr 41 mins ago
JERUSALEM â€“ Three dozen top Israeli rabbis threw their support Tuesday behind a religious ruling barring Jews from selling or renting homes to non-Jews â€” an indication of growing radicalism within the rabbinical community at a time of mounting friction between Israeli Arabs and Jews.
The action by the clerics â€” chief rabbis in some of Israel's largest cities and influential among the devout â€” fueled charges of racism.
The religious opinion first became a focus of controversy last year when the chief rabbi of Safed â€” a town in northern Israel that has a large concentration of devout Jews â€” urged that it be applied specifically to Arabs.
Nitai Morgenstern, an aide to Safed's chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliahu, said the town has "a problem of a lot of people renting and selling to Arabs, and that destroys the city's social fabric."
Recently, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews asked other chief rabbis to express their support for the ruling to prove it has widespread backing, Morgenstern said Tuesday. Thirty-seven rabbis signed it. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the ruling with their signatures attached on Tuesday.
Mordechai Nagari, chief rabbi of Maaleh Adumim, a large West Bank settlement outside Jerusalem, defended the letter, which he signed. "The rabbinical ruling is that you cannot sell houses to gentiles, and its purpose is to protect the Jewish identity of the state of Israel," he told AP Television News.
Morgenstern said he understood how this attitude could cause friction with the Arab minority, which accounts for one-fifth of Israel's population of 7.6 million.
"But people have to see the other side," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the initiative. "Israel categorically rejects these words" against its Arab citizens, Netanyahu said in a speech Tuesday evening in Jerusalem. "This must not happen in any democratic nation, and certainly not in the Jewish and democratic state" of Israel.
Amit Cohen said he and other Safed residents led the campaign to win other rabbis' support because clerics are "simply fed up with the fact that rabbis have to fear issuing or discussing religious rulings."
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel called on Netanyahu to take disciplinary action against the rabbis, who are employed by the state. Taxpayers pay the salaries of Israel's 126 municipal chief rabbis.
Arab Israeli lawmaker Ahmad Tibi said the rabbis should be fired and brought up on criminal charges "because we are talking about incitement or racism according even to Israeli law."
Israeli Jews have increasingly been questioning the loyalty of Arab citizens, who legally enjoy the same rights but tend to be poorer and discriminated against in state funding and job opportunities.
Israel's ultranationalist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, led his Yisrael Beitenu party to large gains in last year's parliamentary elections by playing on the perceived disloyalty of Israel's Arabs.
Meanwhile, some members of the Arab minority have become radicalized by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and are openly speaking about turning the Jewish state into part of a binational state that would be home to Israelis and Palestinians both.
Salah Mohsen, spokesman of Adalah, an advocacy group for Arabs in Israel, said the rabbis' action was "not surprising" and blamed Lieberman's party, which wants to redraw Israel's borders to exclude large Arab communities.
Rabbi David Rosen, the interfaith adviser to Israel's chief rabbinate, described the rabbis' action as "disturbing" but said he did not think that the majority of the country's rabbis would agree and called it a product of the lingering conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
"The rabbinate as a whole isn't xenophobic or hostile to Arabs," Rosen said. "As long as the conflict goes on here, it's logical to assume that the attitudes of all sides will harden, which is deeply regrettable."
Associated Press writers Diaa Hadid and Daniel Estrin contributed to this report from Jerusalem.
genÂ·tile /ˈdʒɛntaɪl/ Show Spelled
[jen-tahyl] Show IPA
â€“adjective ( sometimes initial capital letter )
1. of or pertaining to any people not Jewish.
2. Christian, as distinguished from Jewish.
3. Mormon Church . not mormon.
4. heathen or pagan.
5. (of a linguistic expression) expressing nationality or local origins.
6. of or pertaining to a tribe, clan, people, nation, etc.
7. a person who is not Jewish, esp. a Christian.
8. (among Mormons) a person who is not a Mormon.
9. a heathen or pagan.
They are mostly talking about Muslim Arabs. If you go there, I do not think you will have a problem. And still, this is not a law or anything. Do you know what THEIR religious leaders say, though?
How about this?
"Judgement Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him'"
A tenant worshipping the book where this is written is coming to buy /rent a house near you.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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