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Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Photo: Efi Sharir
Safed rabbi interrogated on incitement charges
Rabbi involved in racist letter questioned despite saying he would not report to police summons

One of the rabbis who initiated a letter urging Jews not to rent homes to Arabs was interrogated by police on suspicion of incitement to racism Sunday.

 

Safed's chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, denied he had been involved in distributing a flier calling on religious schools not to employ Arabs after a deadly yeshiva terror attack in 2008.

 

Eliyahu said on Friday that he would not report to police summons. "I asked them if David Grossman, Yossi Sarid, and Shulamit Aloni, who protested against the settlement of Jews in Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, had also been interrogated, but they said no," Eliyahu explained.

 

"If I am being accused of racism while they are not – this is discrimination."

 

Eliyahu was backed by MKs Yaakov Katz and Uri Ariel (National Union), who condemned the "summoning to interrogation of the great leaders of Israel" and the "persecution of the Torah and its rabbis".

 

"Freedom of speech has been stolen from wizened students by the police and the prosecution, because they believe it is deserved only by radical and post-Zionist academicians, who call on Arabs to refrain from renting to Jews in their neighborhoods," they said in a statement.

 

 

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