On December 7, 2010, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, and 49 other municipal rabbis in Israel issued a letter ruling that Jewish law forbids the sale or rental of property in Israel to gentiles. IDI joined the voices that condemned this letter.
Text of IDI Press Release
The Israel Democracy Institute strongly condemns the petition signed by dozens of municipal rabbis which asserts that there is a severe halakhic prohibition against renting or selling apartments in Israel to non-Jews. This petition, which reeks of racism and fans the flames of intolerance, has no place in a democratic state. Can we continue to call ourselves a democracy when community rabbis, who are also state-employees, openly call for "No entry to Arabs and foreigners"? This petition also has no place in a Jewish state. Is this the same Jewish state that commands us to love the stranger dwelling with us? Of all people, Jews, who were victims of the worst hate crime in history, are obliged to denounce such manifestations of racism.