Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu yesterday boasted that his edict calling for people not to rent apartments to non-Jews was working, while a minster praised his efforts to maintain the Jewish nature of Israel.
The Jewish law is clear, Eliyahu said at a conference organized by the rightist religious movement Komemiyut. In Safed the halakhic ruling worked, people dont sell land or rent or sell apartments to non-Jews.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz also attended the conference, and awarded Eliyahu a citation for his devotion to the Jewish nature of the Land of Israel.
Eliyahu was one of 18 rabbis who signed a petition in October, urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. The petition was seen as being directed against Arab students enrolled in Safeds college.
The Ministers spokesman said: Hershkowitz expressed a different opinion than Eliyahus at the conference and differs with him both on the halakhic and public issues. The award recipients at the ceremony were decided on by the organizers, who invited the minister as a guest of honor.