Tel Aviv Rabbis: Renting Apartments to Foreign Workers Violates Jewish Law

Dana Weiler-Polak
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Dana Weiler-Polak

Twenty-five rabbis from Tel Aviv have signed an edict forbidding the rental of apartments to "infiltrators" and illegal foreign workers.

Rabbis' signatures on a petition of residents of south Tel Aviv against African foreign workers

In a public announcement, the rabbis said that "in the wake of the severe pressure that the neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv face and their abandonment by the government, that begins with the Israeli-Egyptian border and ends with the lawlessness and violence that is taking over south Tel Aviv, the residents of the neighborhoods have decided that the present situation cannot continue".

The authors of a petition on the subject added that "they will not let the neighborhoods in which they grew up to turn into Sudanese neighborhoods, something that has already happened to the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood. After many attempts using acceptable legal means, the residents decided to have the rabbis sign an 'Edict Forbidding the Rental of Apartments to Infiltrators,' and hope that this will halt the deterioration of the

An announcement that activists intend to post on bulletin boards around the city states that "we, the undersigned, neighborhood rabbis and synagogue rabbis, hereby warn the public of the religious prohibitions and the foreseeable dangers that would result from renting apartments to these people." The rabbis added that "may the efforts of those that toil to defend the Jewish character of the City of Tel Aviv be strengthened."

"This is a sad day for the citizens of Israel, when racism receives legitimization," said Ran Cohen, the Director of the Migrant Refugee & Non-Status Division of the organization Doctors for Human Rights. "We call upon citizens to fiercely reject this petition and courageously stand in opposition to this display of fear and xenophobia that is gaining traction within our society."

Meretz MK Ilan Gil'on said that "again, we are witness to racist incitement on the part of the rabbis. The same rabbis that should be preaching love of Israel and all of humanity are attempting to incite hatred and arouse fear among Israeli society. The Attorney General must investigate to find out if these rabbis are on the government payroll."