Rabbi: Don't hire, rent homes to Arabs

Hebron Rabbi Dov Lior says doing so is mortally dangerous, as proved by the Mercaz Harav attack.

Jlem terror 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Jlem terror 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hebron and Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior plans to issue a halachic ruling forbidding Israeli Jews from rent apartments to Israeli Arabs or Palestinians or to employ them. In an interview with "Eretz Israel Shelanu" (Our Land of Israel), a pamphlet distributed in synagogues before Shabbat, Lior was quoted as saying it was "mortally dangerous" to do so, as proved by the terror attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. It was thus forbidden to hire Arab workers not only in yeshivot "but also in factories, hotels or anywhere," he said. Lior could not be immediately reached. However, a spokesman said this had been Lior's position for some time. Other leading religious Zionist rabbis, such as Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Bracha and Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Eilon Moreh, have also called to ban all Arab labor. Lior's ruling comes just a few days after Rabbi Haim Kanyevsky, a highly respected haredi spiritual leader and halachic authority based in Bnei Brak, ruled it was forbidden for yeshivot to employ Arabs. Kanyevsky's ruling is being enforced by haredi activists who are visiting yeshivot to ascertain no Arabs are being employed, according to Channel 1 news. The family of Ala Abu Dhaim, the terrorist who murdered eight Mercaz Harav students and wounded nine two weeks ago, said he was employed by the yeshiva as a driver. However, yeshiva head Rabbi Ya'acov Shapira denied that Abu Dhaim was a yeshiva employee. In response to Lior's comments, attorney Einat Horowitz, head of the Reform Movement's legal arm, said that "We view with concern the new wave of calls against Arabs since the terrible terrorist attack on Mercaz Harav. "There is a phenomenon of rising racial incitement against Arabs that distorts Judaism and is also illegal. We call on the attorney-general to wake up and act to enforce the law and prohibit calls like this. "It is inconceivable that public figures, including those who are salaried state employees, continue to voice discriminatory exhortations unchallenged. State officials need to intervene and make it clear that these comments are illegitimate." In a related story, Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel, released a report Wednesday that found Israeli Jews to be more supportive of the deportation of Israeli Arabs. The report warned that ideas such as population exchange and racial segregation for Israeli Arabs are gaining support among Jews. It also warned that several Jewish politicians are gaining influence based on a platform of racial hatred.