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The “New Sanhedrin,” a self-appointed right-wing group of some standing, has issued a halachic ruling ostracizing Jews who sell land or housing to Arabs. Religiously, the ruling is baseless, but the list of participants in the “Sanhedrin” meeting is telling. Among those present were Ovadia Yosef’s son Yaacov, the chief rabbi of Tzfat, and Menachem Porush, whose son nearly become the mayor of Jerusalem.

Religious Jews in Tzfat and Jerusalem are wary of Arab encroachment. Religious Jewish communities are overflowing, and their members seek housing nearby—but they encounter competition from Arabs, who are attracted by relatively low real estate prices near religious neighborhoods. Once a few Arabs settle in, the Jewish residents tend to leave the building, exposing entire districts to Arab encroachment.

Not only selling, but renting apartments to Arabs presents a similar problem to Jews.

Jewish law bans selling land to foreigners. Every Arab country bans real estate sales to Jews.

Israeli Arabs will hold a strike on October 1 to remember their riots nine years ago, in which police duly killed a few of them.

The Avodah Ivrit (Jewish Labor) movement does not want Arabs to be working here at all.

Druze of Israeli Ossafiya village threw stones and Molotov cocktails at a local police station after two of the village’s residents were arrested for illegal construction.

The Druze are rightly offended: in dozens of Arab villages nearby, hostile Arabs have built thousands of illegal houses, but the government avoids confrontations with them. It only cracks down on Jews and loyal Druze.

September 2009
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