relations no barrier for Turkey to help Israel fight bushfire
In a strong show of humanitarian gesture, Turkey, despite its
marred relations with Israel, rushed to help the Jewish state
fight the bushfire being termed as its largest-ever. The bushfire
that has killed 42 people so far raged uncontrollably Friday
night, taunting efforts
Some 50 Israeli rabbis have published a religious ruling,
forbidding Jews to let apartments to Arabs, Israel Army Radio
The radio quoted the religious ruling as saying that "a Halachic
(Jews religious law) prohibition applies to the renting out of
apartments to Arabs".
Neighbours and acquaintances of whoever sells or rents an
apartment to non-Jews in areas where Jews live must warn him, keep
their distance from him and refrain from business with him, the
The 50 rabbis who signed the ruling include Shlomo Aviner, the
head rabbi of the Jewish settlement of Beit El near the West Bank
city of Ramallah, as well as of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva,
or religious school, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
"I have to give preference to my brothers, to Jews, so if a Jew
needs a flat and a gentile needs a flat, then I should do a favour
to a Jew first, rather than to do a favour to a gentile," said the
"As is known, there are people with extremist views, who think
that all Arabs should be thrown out of the state of Israel," he
told Army Radio, when asked why he signed the ruling.
He said he did not describe to that view, but added "we don't need
to go to the other extreme and help them root here". One fifth of
Israel's population were Arabs and that number should not grow, he
The rabbis join some 18 rabbis from the religious town of Safed in
northern Israel, who issued a similar ruling in September.
It caused outrage by liberal Israelis, with lawmaker Ilan Gila'on
of the left-liberal Meretz party demanding the rabbis, many of
whom are on the government pay list because they are head rabbis
on city and settlement councils, be sacked.
Israeli Minority Affairs Minister Avishai Braverman, of the
left-to-centre Labour Party, also slammed the ruling.
"These rabbis show contempt for the Torah (Hebrew scriptures).
They incite, receive salaries from the government and violate all
the rules and laws.
He said he would refer the matter to the state attorney.