Leading Rabbi: Israel must free Palestinians held for selling land to Jews

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
December 19, 2018 12:49
1 minute read.
Rabbi Aryeh Stern

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Stern has ruled that Jewish law requires that efforts be made to release Palestinian-American Isaam Akel from his incarceration by the Palestinian Authority for selling land to Jews.

Akel, a resident of east Jerusalem with US citizenship, was arrested by PA security forces two months ago. He is suspected of acting as a solicitor in the sale of a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish organization.
In response to a letter from the Im Tirtzu organization, Stern ruled that just as there is an obligation in Jewish law to help poor non-Jews, there is also an obligation to free non-Jewish captives like there is an obligation free Jewish captives.

“In the Talmud and Jewish law we learned that we provide for poor non-Jews together with poor Jews, and this means that the same should be true and we should redeem non-Jewish captives just like Jewish captives,” ruled Stern, adding that the commandment to get captives released is an important precept in Jewish law.

He added that the fact that Akel was arrested for selling land to Jews made it even more important to help get him released, since it is  part of the commandment to settle the Land of Israel
The rabbi added that it was crucial to help Akel to thwart the deterrent effect of the PA, whose actions deter Palestinians from selling land to Jews.


Im Tirtzu welcomed Stern’s ruling, calling it a “historic and brave” move by the rabbi.
“For the first time, a significant figure in the rabbinical institution is intervening on behalf of the Palestinians who have become targets for the Palestinian Authority in the capital,” said Lt.-Col. (res.) Baruch Yedid, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Affairs desk.

“We hope that these words will lead to action and that the rest of the authorities in Israel will act in this spirit and put an end to Palestinian lawlessness in Jerusalem. The authorities must provide protection to Israeli residents and assert de facto sovereignty.”

US Ambassador David Friedman has also demanded Akel’s release, saying in November that “his incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US and to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A Palestinian Hamas-hired civil servant displays U.S. Dollar banknotes
January 20, 2019
Qatar to send delayed $15 million payment to Gaza

By REUTERS