A lawyer for Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu responded, Sunday, to the Supreme Court petition filed by Member of Knesset Isawi Farij (Meretz) against his candidacy for Sephardic Chief Rabbi by saying that none of the other parties named in the petition have the authority to disqualify the chief rabbi of Tzfat. Farij's petition is based on a position attributed to Eliyahu against the sale and rental of property to non-Jews.
Attorney Avi'ad Hacohen said there was apparently no argument that Rabbi Eliyahu met the qualifications for the position and the decision on his selection should be made in the democratic forum of the committee that will make the decision, which represents a wide spectrum of the Israeli public. He said the petition was based on media reports, including statements never made by the rabbi or taken out of context, and that Farij did not directly ask Eliyahu about them. Doctor Hacohen also said the court was not the proper forum for the arguments raised by the petition.