MK Shai Piron in 2002: Don't sell houses to Arabs

Possible Yesh Atid candidate for education minister says advice was halachik answer, and it doesn't represent his views.

March 12, 2013 16:16
1 minute read.
MK Shai Piron (Yesh Atid)

piron370. (photo credit: courtesy)


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 Don't show it again

MK Rabbi Shai Piron, who is number two on the Yesh Atid list, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for education minister, was put on the defensive today for advising someone on a religious internet forum in 2002 during the second intifada not to sell his house to an Arab, Army Radio reported Tuesday.

On the forum, called Kipa, an individual from Haifa asked Piron what he should do about selling his apartment because he wished to move away from an area of the city with many Arab residents and no Jew would purchase his apartment.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Piron replied, "You should not sell the house to an Arab, and in particular when there is the prohibition of Lo Tehunam and selling a house to Arabs, especially in light of the current struggle is absolutely prohibited."

The religious concept of Lo Tehunam is interpreted by some rabbis to mean that Jews are prevented from selling their land to gentiles who reside in Israel.

In response to the report, Piron's spokesperson said, "The forum Kipa deals with questions of halacha [Jewish law] and halachik answers on various topics. The answer that Rabbi Piron gave is the halachik reply and does not represent his personal positions. On the subject of selling apartments to Arabs, Rabbi Piron does not stand behind the halachik ruling on the matter, and his activism in recent years on dialogue between Arabs and Jews is evidence of this."

Piron added to this sentiment on a long post on his Facebook page saying, "Three years ago I came out against rabbis who interpreted the law in this way," adding "a little effort would reveal the true picture."

In October 2010, a halachic edict against renting or selling land to non-Jews in Safed, signed by a group of local rabbis, stirred controversy in Israel. Later that year in December, a petition signed by rabbis across the country said that Jews should not rent homes in Israel to gentiles.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night