Israel Prize Laureate Rabbi Haim Druckman decried the call to ban Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu from running for the office of Chief Rabbi of Israel. On Wednesday Rabbi Druckman said it was undemocratic for Rabbi Eliyahu to be investigated by the Attorney General's Office.
Rabbi Druckman has been the head of the State Conversion Authority since 1990 and was the founder of theOhr Etzion B'nei Akiva Yeshiva High School in 1964, and the Ohr MeOfir academy for members of the Ethiopian Jewish community in 1995.
Member of Knesset Esawi Frij (sometimes spelled "Issawi Farij") of the Meretz party praised the investigation and renewed his call for Rabbi Eliyahu to be banned.
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 Rabbi 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.