'Don't Sell to Arabs' Rabbi Backed in Israel Race for Sephardic Chief

Despite Racist Statements, Shmuel Eliyahu Gains Support

Controversial: Shmuel Eliyahu is a candidate for Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel. He has said Jews should not rent or sell property to Arabs and called Palestinians a threat to Jewish women.
haaretz
Controversial: Shmuel Eliyahu is a candidate for Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel. He has said Jews should not rent or sell property to Arabs and called Palestinians a threat to Jewish women.

By Haaretz

Published July 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Most of the members of the Jewish Home Knesset faction support the election of Safed’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, as Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel.

The MKs have voiced their support despite criticism of Eliyahu’s candidacy even within the religious Zionist movement because of racist statements he has made in the past. Haaretz checked and found that at least seven of the 12 Habayit Hayehudi lawmakers would support Eliyahu for the post.

Eliyahu has not formally declared his candidacy and in recent weeks, he has been seeking support for his candidacy elsewhere, for example among ultra-Orthodox rabbis throughout the country. Eliyahu is accompanied on his visits to these leaders by Rabbi Simcha Hacohen Kook, the chief rabbi of Rehovot.

Although Habayit Hayehudi has not held a meeting on the matter, the issue is high on the priorities of party chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is also the religious services minister.

Bennett’s associates say that he tends to support Eliyahu but is hesitating to say so openly because of the expected public criticism that would follow. Bennett is said to have been very close to Eliyahu even before the last Knesset election, and according to one close associate “he supports Rabbi Eliyahu for chief rabbi, but it’s unlikely he’ll commit suicide over it.”

For more go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.