No one ever said Israel is perfect, but this story reported on by the Washington Post is the sort of thing that makes you wonder if the worst enemy of Israel isn’t within its own borders:
Three dozen top Israeli rabbis threw their support Tuesday behind a religious ruling barring Jews from selling or renting homes to non-Jews – 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 – chief rabbis in some of Israel’s largest cities and influential among the devout – fueled charges of racism.
The religious opinion first became a focus of controversy last year when the chief rabbi of Safed – a town in northern Israel that has a large concentration of devout Jews – 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.”
In other words, “we can’t have those people coming into our town!”
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.
No, it isn’t. The Jewish identity of Israel is not harmed in any way, shape, or form by its own Arab citizens being able to rent or purchase housing wherever they want. Unless, that is, Nagari is an advocate of the idea that Israel should be Arab-free, in which case he’s just as bad as they Palestinians who want the West Bank to be Judenrein. Fortunately, the political leadership is not on board with this nonsense:
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.
Darned tootin’. The nutballs on the Israeli, European, and American left are constantly making the charge that Israel is a racist, apartheid state. People like these rabbis seem intent on proving them correct. Thank God there are people in authority to put the lie to the charge by making clear that the presence of racists among the Jewish population doesn’t make Israel racist as a state (or the Jewish population as a whole, either). All I can say is, I hope Bibi and the other leaders of his government will remain vigilant in opposing and doing everything they can to stop the spread of this kind of garbage.