Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is banning Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu from running for the position of Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel because of derogatory statements he made earlier this month regarding the Arab community, Channel 2 reported on Monday.
In a letter of response adressed to the A-G's office after clarification of his statements was requested, Eliyahu wrote that he did not make many of the remarks attributed to him and that some were distorted by others.
“Some were never said by me, and some were said in contexts that were radicalized and presented out of the Torah context in which they were said,” Eliyahu wrote in th letter.
Earlier this month, the Attorney-General’s Office announced that if Rabbi Eliyahu formally declares his intention to run for the position of Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, he will be invited to a hearing with the attorney general to explain derogatory comments the rabbi made about the country’s Arab minority.
Jeremy Sharon and JTA contributed to this report.