Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The High Court of Justice issued a conditional order to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and the state on Monday, demanding to know why Safed chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu was not charged with disciplinary violations for incitement.
The court also asked why initial disciplinary actions were not taken against Eliyahu in light of his statements against selling housing to Arabs in Safed.
Besides his statements about Arabs, he has also made a variety of controversial statements against the Druze community who protested against the Jewish Nation-State Law, women serving in the army, the LGBT community, and leftists, during a protest over workers conditions at a factory in the North.
Until now, the state has often criticized statements by some rabbis as bordering on incitement, but not crossing the line, and has been concerned over limiting rabbis’ free speech.
The petition was filed by the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and other NGOs.
Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich slammed the ruling saying, “interfering with rabbis’ freedom of speech is inconceivable.”
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