Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu has been summoned by police over a letter he published urging the public to refrain from renting and selling homes to Arabs. However Eliyahu told Ynet Friday he would not answer the summons.
Police are seeking to interrogate the rabbi on suspicion of incitement to racism, and he was summoned to Jerusalem on Sunday.
"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."
The rabbi added that it was his right to publish his halachic rulings. "We have no intention of playing into the hands of the justice system, which behaves in an inequitable manner," he said.
Eliyahu is 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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