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AG Weinstein Disqualifies Rav Eliyahu’s Candidacy

eliyAttorney General Yehuda Weinstein on erev Tisha B’Av 5773 told Tzfas Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu that he is not a suitable candidate to become the next Rishon L’Tzion and that his candidacy may present legal issues.

Weinstein basis his decision on statements and piskei Halacha released by the rav in which he takes an anti-Arab position. When Rabbi Eliyahu ruled that Jews in Tzfas may not rent or sell property to Arabs, his psak was viewed as racist and controversial by the media and politicians alike.

In his explanation to Weinstein, Rav Eliyahu explained in some cases his words were taken out of context while in other situations, people simply did not realize this is Halacha and his statements were in response to a Halachic inquiry. This is especially true regarding statements quoting his piskei Halacha appearing on dati leumi websites.

Rabbi Eliyahu is not compelled to accept Weinstein’s opinion and he may opt to continue in the race. However, Weinstein has informed him that if the candidacy is challenged in the High Court of Justice, he, the attorney general, cannot defend his position.

Response released on the rav’s behalf:

On erev Tisha B’Av the attorney general opted to remove his mask of hypocrisy and trample democracy. It would appear that the attorney general who gave approval for serious acts by MKs against IDF soldiers, and who gave backing to the head of the Islamic Movement, opted to hold a field trial for Rabbi Eliyahu and appoint himself judge, jury and executioner.

Weinstein, who realizes many members of the voting body will cast a ballot for Rav Eliyahu has decided to break the rules in an unprecedented move, without authority, without a hearing, and without verifying the claims that have resulted in a new reality in which a candidate who is not favored by the judicial elite will not enjoy the protection of state authorities.

The attorney general will now have to explain to everyone why MK Hanin Zoabi and Sheikh Raid Salah are entitled to his protection while the rav of a city who is a leading candidate for the position is sharply attacked by him.

Not wasting time, Meretz MK Esawi Frij on Tuesday, Tisha B’Av 5773, petitioned the High Court of Justice to disqualify Rav Eliyahu from running. It should be pointed out that while the rav is a leading candidate, he has not yet officially filed as a candidate in the race.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

One Response

  1. Has Rav Eliyahu been convicted of anything? If not, how can he be “disqualified”? Yes, he is politically affiliated with the Dati Leumi right wing, but when did that become a crime???

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