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The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning racism towards Beduin students in Safed on Thursday. Recently, an 89-year-old holocaust survivor and resident of the northern city was harassed and threatened for renting an apartment to Beduin students studying at the Safed Academic College.
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The ADL statement said, "All citizens of the state of Israel, according to the law, have equal rights, including renting apartments." The statement continued, "Citizens should not be discriminated against for their ethnic background."
Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu recently issued a controversial halachic adjudication
against selling or renting apartments to Arabs in the city. A
conference on the same theme was in October by Eliyahu and fellow rabbis who
share his view.
The ADL called upon Rabbi Eliyahu "to reverse the discriminatory ruling, which negates Israeli law."
Safed Mayor Ilan Shohat also weighed in on Rabbi Eliyahu's ruling,
saying that the city "respects every student, Jewish or Arab, who has
chosen to study here," according to the press release.
Violence in the city has caught the attention of authorities. At the end of last month, an
indictment was filed against a youth and a border police
officer in Safed for attacking Arab students in the city a week earlier.
Considered one of Judaism's four holy cities, does not have a large Arab population.Jonah Mandel also contributed to this report.