Member of Knesset Esawi Frij (sometimes spelled "Issawi Farij") of the Meretz party again called for the disqualification of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu for Chief Rabbi of Israel. "Yesterday I was pleased to hear the wheels grinding in the Attorney General office, even if too slowly," MK Frij stated regarding the possibility of Rabbi Eliyahu's ouster. About three months ago MK Frij filed a petition with the Supreme Court against the rabbi.
In 2010, Rabbi Eliyahu as chief rabbi of Tzfat sought to curb the rash of foreigners from wealthy Arab countries purchasing Jewish owned apartments at exorbitant rates. He penned a letter urging Jewish residents not to relinquish their property. He was subsequently investigated on charges of racism.
Elections for the two chief rabbis of the country are scheduled to take place next week. The elections is conducted by a special panel of 150 people. The position lasts for ten years. Among Sephardic candidates are Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, whose father Rav Mordechai Eliyahu served as Chief Rabbi between 1983-1993, and Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, whose father Rabbi Ovadia Yosef served as Chief Rabbi as well. Ashkenazic candidates include Rabbi David Stav of Shoham, Rabbi Eliezer Igra and Rabbi David Lau of Modi'in.