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.