Leading national-religious rabbi Haim Drukman presented Monday night the final draft of the so-called "rabbis' letter" pertaining to the selling and leasing of apartments to non-Jews.
The latest document is a softened version of an earlier letter that sparked a row amid accusations of racism.
The new version aims to prove that the Arab takeover of real estate assets in the Jewish state is a national problem that concerns all rabbis, including those who did not agree to sign the original letter, drafted by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
The initiators of the amended letter say that it will soon be endorsed by leading rabbis from different streams in the religious-Zionist camp.
The latest draft opens with reservations over the original letter, yet immediately makes it clear that in principle the battle it launched is justified.
"The State should act against hostile elements that seek to exploit the equality of rights in order to realize the right of return and expel us from our country," the new letter reads, stressing that "the State of Israel is a Jewish state – the Jewish people's place."
Rabbi Drukman reviewed the issue's halachic aspects during a meeting held at the Gesher non-profit group's Jerusalem offices attended by religious civics teachers. He also slammed leftists who protested the original rabbis' letters and called for an indictment of those who signed it. The critics exploited the affair in order to blast the rabbis and what they represent, Drukman said.
Earlier Monday, Rabbi Eliyahu participated in a convention that dealt with the rabbis' letter and with the issue of a Jewish and democratic state. During the event, he urged the entire public to join the battle, declaring that "anyone who thinks that Zionism isn't racism should fight for this."
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