Daily Israel Report

MK Katz: What About Racism Against Jews?

Atty-Gen reviews “possible criminal aspects” of rabbis’ ban on home sales to Arabs; MK Katz asks about attempts to keep Jews out of Arab areas.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/20/2010, 3:07 PM / Last Update: 12/20/2010, 3:02 PM

Yossi Blum Halevy

Atty-Gen. plans to review “possible criminal aspects” of rabbis’ ban on home sale/rental to Arabs; MK Katz asks about Jewish attempts to keep Jews out of Arab areas.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has said that he will review “possible criminal aspects” of the recent rabbis’ ruling forbidding apartment sale/rental to Arabs. The ruling was issued in light of ongoing and concerted Arab plans to move in large numbers to cities such as Bat Yam, Lod, Tzfat, Ramle, and Nazareth Illit, as well as neighborhoods in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Accusations that the ruling is racist and incites to hatred prompted Weinstein to say he will investigate it.

MK Yaakov Katz, leader of the National Union party, has volunteered to provide similar information on attempts by Jews and others to keep Jews from moving into predominantly Arab areas. In a letter to Weinstein, Katz writes:

Katz to A-G: I'm Sure You'll Investigate
"In light of the many declarations by public figures on the left against Jewish rights of acquisition in neighborhoods currently populated by Arabs, I felt the need to inform you of some of the [articles] published in the media and on the internet, thus helping you in the investigation that you will surely instruct the Prosecution to open, as you did against Rabbis of Israel.”

For instance, Katz writes, “In the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood of Jerusalem, also known as Sheikh Jarrah, protests are held every Friday against Jews living there - merely because they are Jews. The website of Hadash [an Israeli-Arab political party represented in the Knesset – ed.] describes the protests as follows: ‘… protests by local residents together with Israeli peace activists are held every Friday in a struggle that has become a symbol of non-violent protest against the occupation, the settlements, and the Judaization of eastern Jerusalem [emphasis added by Katz].’ Though it is declared outright that the organization is working against Jewish settlement because it is Jewish, no investigation has yet been opened against it.”

Katz includes in his letter internet links to similar articles and statements, and adds that the problem is not limited to Sheikh Jarrah: “In Jaffa, as well, Arabs and leftists protested against a religious-Zionist Jewish purchase group, and even tried to harm potential buyers… In light of these displays of racism against Jews, including words that more than once turned into violent disturbances against Jewish residents, I ask that you investigate the public figures who spoke out against Jewish residents simply because of their race.”