Zionist Orthodox Rabbi Eliyahu wants to run for the position of Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, but his candidacy is opposed by many Israelis who are upset with his long history of racist and bigoted remarks against Arabs, gays and non-Jews. Today, Israel's attorney general told him that the state would not be able to defend his candidacy before the High Court of Justice, and called Eliyahu's candidacy "unsuitable."
Israel’s AG Tells Racist Rabbi ‘You’re On Your Own’
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s attorney general told controversial Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu that he’s on his own.
Eliyahu wants to run for the position of Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, but his candidacy is opposed by many Israelis who are upset with his long history of racist and bigoted remarks against Arabs, gays and non-Jews.
Late today, attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told Eliyahu, who is the chief rabbi of Sefat, that he would not be able to defend his nomination against petitions seeking to block it that could be filed with the High Court of Justice. Ynet reported that the AG also called Eliyahu’s candidacy “unsuitable.”
Weinstein's decision does not stop Eliyahu from running for the position, but his candidacy would probably be ended by the High Court’s response to those petitions, if filed.
Associates of Eliyahu told Ynet that if the AG really limited his ruling to calling settled Eliyahu’s candidacy “unsuitable,” Eliyahu could still run. Weinstein's ruling would probably increase his support in the panel that elects chief rabbis of Israel, they claimed. If the AG asks the panel to reject Eliyahu's candidacy, Eliyahu will petition the High Court against it, basing that petition on the assertion that the AG is not authorized to disqualify him from running, they added.
Last week, Weinstein asked Eliyahu to explain 13 different racist remarks attributed to him. The AG did not find Eliyahu’s answers convincing, leading him to tell Eliyahu that he would not be able to defend his candidacy.
Police at one point investigated Eliyahu on allegations of racist incitement, but dropped the case after deciding there was not enough evidence to get a criminal convcition. At the time, that decision was widely pilloried – especially because Eliyahu had made some of those statements in writing and had signed them.
Eliyahu's response to Weinstein’s 13 questions claims those remarks were taken out of context and distorted. In most cases, Eliyahu said his statements or rulings were merely accurate representations of halakha (Orthodox Jewish law), and therefore by their very definition cannot be labeled racist incitement.
Eliyahu, however, failed to note that many Orthodox and haredi rabbis rule differently on those very same same issues.
Eliyahu is a state employee who receives a full salary plus benefits, despite years of racist statements made against Arab citizens of Israel, homosexuals, and non-Jews.