Nothing to criticise because hating Arabs isn’t such a big deal

What’s a little racism against Arabs?

The heads of Israel’s legal establishment have yet to express a public position on a religious ruling signed by dozens of prominent rabbis calling for people not to rent homes to non-Jews.

Neither Justice Minister Ya’akov Ne’eman nor Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has responded to a petition calling for legal action, and while aides have indicated that the matter will be dealt with, their stance on the matter remains unclear.

A group of public figures, intellectuals and academics have asked Weinstein to immediately suspend any public servants among the rabbis who signed the document, those “who trample underfoot the pledges of the Declaration of Independence on which Israel was founded, turn Judaism into racism and openly break the law prohibiting incitement to racism.”

The group of signatories, which includes professors Yaron Ezrahi, Chaim Gans and Joseph Agassi, playwright Joshua Sobol and authors Sefi Rachlevsky and Yoram Kaniuk, approached Weinstein several weeks ago about taking action against Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu for issuing the same type of call.

“Because of dawdling, negligence and a feeble response to the breaking of the law, the fire has jumped from one coal, from rabbi to rabbi, and threatens to burn the whole forest,” they wrote in their petition.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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