Inside the Middle East
December 8, 2010
Posted: 842 GMT
Palestinian children play on one side of a barrier wall.
Palestinian children play on one side of a barrier wall.

A letter signed by 50 state-appointed rabbis telling Jews not to rent or sell property to non-Jews prompted widespread condemnation Tuesday from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and human rights groups.

The letter warned that those who defied the religious ruling should be "ostracized."

"In answer to many questions, we reply that it is prohibited by the Torah to sell a house or field in Israel to a gentile," the letter reads.

The letter is to be published in religious newspapers and distributed in synagogues across the country later this week, according to the Israeli news website Ynet.

It contends that "those who sell or rent out in an area which Jews live cause great damage to his neighbors. ... For their way of life is different to Jews. Read more...

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Filed under: Israel •Judaism •Palestinians

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miriam   December 8th, 2010 12:45 pm ET


Once again, poor journalism, with a lack of background given to this story.

It is well recognized among Israeli Jews and Jews around the world that the statement made by these Rabbis is non-democratic and out of place in the Israeli secular society. It is also recognized in Israel that the state has numerous organizations and mechanisms to deal with the case. The Jewish state is not a theocracy.

The back-ground to this issue is derived from the fact that there are several communities within mixed cities in Israel where increasingly, non-Jewish residents have been compromising the peaceful celebration and comemmoration of Jewish holidays and events, whether by the playing of loud music outside synagogues and homes on the Sabbath or partying in mixed apartment blocks on Yom Kippur. The disrespect or lack of sensitivity has hurt many Jewish residents.

These events are occurring at a time when there has been several instances where non-Jewish Israeli community leaders and elected officials have been making anti-Israel/zionist//semitic declarations supporting the delegitimization of the Jewish state, while foreign, hostile, neighbouring states have been financing the purchases, at over-inflated prices, of Jewish properties and land for sale.

In light of the evidence that there is a determined effort to destroy the Jewish state, (which goes to great effort to enable the minority populations to celebrate their own holidays and ignores the equivalent clerical calls in their communities, forbidding the sale and rental of properties to Jews) it is not a surprise that some would attempt to instigate such a policy.

Finally, if it is of any relevance, the wages of religious state employees are rarely paid so the fact that some of these Rabbis are state employed is most likely only a symbolic point, all be it, serious.

proud zionist   December 8th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

I don't agree with these rabbis. But let us not forget that in the West Bank selling land to a Jew carries a mandatory death sentence. I do not see CNN making a story out of that. I wonder why? Actually, knowing CNN, I don't.

John A   December 9th, 2010 12:42 pm ET

Israelis acting like w@nkers is not news.

This story has been running for 60 years.

Yesterday Obama pretended that America was powerless to stop Israel breaking international law. Powerless to create a freeze on illegal Israeli settlements.

America pays for Israel and without US tax dollars there would be no Israel. If Americans were serious about peace, they would threaten to cut the strings with Israel.

But obviously America uses Israel to provoke violence in the middle east. This then creates a context for Americans to involve themselves and their military in control of the oil regions.

America is a corrupt scum bag nation and so is its ally Israel. The story for both these nations will not end happily.

America is no longer the land of the free and brave. Just look at them being ordered to spy on each other at Wal Mart, groping children in the name of security at airports, creating tent cities as people are evicted from their homes and their wealth gets transferred to the mega banks.

Americans you have become weak willed jelly fish, choking on debt and hypocrisy. America is finished and we are now witnessing the transfer of power to China.

When America finally dies, sicko Israel will also disappear with a whimper. And then we will be able to say good riddance to both of these scum bag states.

Yehuda, Jerusalem   December 10th, 2010 7:48 am ET

Writing from Jerusalem... i agree with much of what the first blogger had to say in lending a on the ground perspective as to Muslim-Jewish insensitivities amidst shared residency. Although i have witnessed similar insensitivities by Muslims and there is much room for greater sensitivity, i understand their noisy insensitivty to be more than mere rude noise but the protests of a people without a voice, of second class citizens who harbor generations of resentment and sense of powerlessness and who ultimately want to be recognized as equal human beings. I have witnessed mutual sensitivity and even interfaith interraction among Jews and Muslims in Canada and the United States and i suspect it is possible because of mutual social equality.
Secondly, this declaration of the rabbis is part of a collective inertia of right wing religious conservatism in Israel which is becoming acutely evident in our capital, Jerusalem. The good news is that many in Israel have protested such a declaration including the government and already a few rabbis have reconsidered and withdrawn their signatures. But this is only a small victory amidst the rise of the right wing.

Nothinyahu   December 10th, 2010 7:53 am ET

The land of USA belonged to the Red Skinned Jews also before it was stolen by the White Pilgrims

Samboosak   December 10th, 2010 7:54 pm ET

The explanation offered by Miriam is remarkable in the way that it is it is reducible to absurdity: any community that feels members of a society do not abide by its social/religious norms has the right to exclude them from the primordial imperative of shelter/housing. Why aren't secular Jews who don't abide by Sabbath thus banned? This in no more than a very badly veiled attempt to legitimate a racist edict by people trying to perpetuate the dispossession of Palestinians. And given that Israel is forever claiming the higher moral ground in its ongoing tragedy of occupation, equating the edict with how an oppressed, humiliated people deal with dispossession is surely laughable. Besides, in The Occupied Territories, Israel doesn't buy the land, it just confiscates it for the "natural growth" of settlements, which is another absurd term as that logic surely leaves the door open for the long term annexation of all of the West Bank. There are Jewish organizations that have existed for over a century who's only purpose is to buy Palestinian property at any price. So let's stop pulling the veil over peoples' eyes with egregiously flawed explanations designed to veil what everyone either knows or should know: Israel is illegally occupying and abusing a whole people in reckless contempt of International Law for far too long. Stop building settlements and make Peace for God's sake!

Billy Spudd   December 11th, 2010 3:54 am ET

So that is why you steal it?

miriam   December 12th, 2010 1:18 pm ET


Apart from the fact that what I wrote was an explanation and not an attempt to legitimize the opinion, what is more absurd is that these edicts exist and are in practice IN THE REVERSE and nobody cares in the least.

Your question with regards to secular Jews is relevent only with regards to the fact that many secular Jews choose not to live within orthodox communities and neighbourhoods knowing that their way of life may be compromised or perhaps out of respect that they will not "fit in".
Anyway, secular Jews don't pay much attention to any other decrees of Rabbis so they are unlikely to listen to this one, other than to make a political issue osimply ut of it.

Your entire analysis of "occupation" and land acquisition for settlements is incorrect and the obvious product of propaganda.

Land purchased over a century ago was bought from absentee Ottoman and other landlords.
Most Arabs did not own the land they worked on and many claimed ownership when the Ottoman Empire fell despite being migrant labourers.

Arabs who did own land have their documents and can appeal to the High Court if they feel cheated.
Land laws in the WB are based on the same laws established by the Ottomans and continued by the British and the Jordanians.

There is no "occupation" since under International Law, the territory had to have belonged to an internationally recognized sovereign state. Jordan and Egypt who occupied the land between 1948 and 1967 were not.

Stop abusing international law and propagating myths.
Perhaps then peace will have a chance.

Fredrik   December 12th, 2010 6:47 pm ET

Actually most of us don't understand Israel. They can talk and talk for years to the west and we listen and watch and do nothing while they have a apartheid system which is racist and every now and then they kill some hundreds of people when they attack the west bank or something. And when rabbis talk in the open like this about things happening some moderate jews come in and say this is not something all jews stand for. No, but all the talk talk about the good jew and the bad and we can still watch them do bad things all the time. You should listen less to their talk and watch them in action. Talking to Israel will never make Israel better, because you can talk to them for centuries, talk is cheap.

shaymaa ahmad atteya   December 13th, 2010 10:16 am ET

Isn't that a kind of racism

Filipe   December 14th, 2010 12:38 pm ET

OT John A,

The US tax $$$$$$ you constantly whine and cry about that goes to Israel for military assistance amounts to less than 1.5% of the Iaraeli GDP! Soas much as you would like to believe that Israel would cease to exist if these US tax $$$ were to disappear-- it's really a pi$$ in bucket compared to their thriving economy, which is growing at around 5% annually!!!

The success and existance of Israel is in no way dependent upon the US.

Sorry John, but it's just another of your delusional beliefs!!!!

proud zionist   December 15th, 2010 4:22 pm ET

john antisemite A

stop spewing your insane hate tirades against the US of A and Israel

you bore everybody on this blog

did you take your medicine today?

Mike   December 17th, 2010 5:09 am ET

this is what happens when Arabs are killing Arabs for selling their property to Jews .. i.e. this is exactly the same as Arab approach to the subject .... think about that

Dawn Mc Cormick   December 18th, 2010 4:46 pm ET

I think that that the Jewish people need to remeber when this same thing happed to them, and not cause that kind of pain to anyone else.

miriam   December 19th, 2010 3:07 pm ET


Of course you're not going to understand Israel if you believe all the rubbish about apartheid, random attacks on civilians and the claims that a few Rabbis who live in a society which values freedom of speech and expression of ideas which can be challenged and rebuked, being representative of a nation, etc.

The interchanging reference to Jews and Israel in your bigoted comment says it all really.

miriam   December 20th, 2010 11:01 am ET


"The Jewish people" not only remember when they were denied the right to buy and own property whether in Europe of the Middle Ages right through to modern day, or Islamic lands of the past millenium, but are well aware that there are places where the situation still exists today.

"The Jewish people" indeed remember that the opinions of a few are not always representative of the majority and that collective accusations are malicious.

"The Jewish people" also remember and are aware of the continuous efforts to demonize and annihilate their religion, people and nation state whether through war, terrorism, delegitimization, lawfare, demographic expansion and even graveyards, not to mention myths, lies and disinformation.

Captain America   December 20th, 2010 11:23 am ET

Collaboration with an invader is universally recognized as treason. In most countries treason is punishable by death. For goodness sakes, in the USA wikileaks now demonstrates that telling the truth is a prison offense and some even call for assassination.

Israel is the invader.

For Palestinians to collaborate with the invader (by selling land to the invader) is a death sentence crime. This is normal all over the world. If Winston Churchill sold British property to the Nazi's in world war 2, Churchill would have committed high treason and then he would faced the gallows. For Hamas to view property sales to Jews as treason is totally normal!!!! Any country in the same situation would act the same way.

What is unusual is for the invader to refuse the sale of property to the invaded in the land which has been invaded.

This would be the same as the Nazis not allowing Europeans to own their own homes.
When the Nazis occupied France, the French kept their homes (except for the Jews)

Palestine in the invaded victim.
Hence what Israel does to Palestine is exactly the same as what the Nazis did to the Jews.

For Hamas to resist Israel or the world to resist the Nazis is normal. But it seems the pro Israelis on this blog think the invaded victim should collaborate with the Israeli invader.

But then again, Israel has never shown the slightest loyalty to her only ally America. So I guess for spineless Israelis collaborating with the invader is normal. After all Israel is given weapons technology from the USA and then sells it to China.

Is this the Bernie Mandoff Jewish philosophy in action i.e. its okay to sell your country and allies down the drain as long as there is personal gain.

proud zionist   December 20th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

Dawn Mc Cormick

The Jewish people need to remember what?- Concentration camps-there are none in Israel
Kristall Nacht?- No Arab mosques are being torched (although the Arabs torched Josef's tomb)
Indiscriminate killing of Jews by the Nazis?-Oh yeah, that's what is happening in Israel. we kill Arabs on site, right?

I pity you for your ignorance

miriam   December 21st, 2010 5:21 pm ET


Israel is the invader?

Palestine a state, present of past?

Israel's never shown loyalty to the US?

You certainly need some honest history lessons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BTW, opposition to Israeli military sales to China several years ago was little to do with joint US-Israeli technology and more to do with their potential use against Taiwan and other US interests. The sales were terminated (due to Israeli loyalty to the US) as have similar sales with other Asian states, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars (compensated by US military aid, the reward for loyalty? Or simply an arrangement between two trusting allies?).

And what about the billions in US military aid and sales to those countries that simultaneously finance anti-western, anti-US and anti-Israeli propaganda and terrorism?

How does your interpretation of "treason" relate to that?

Filipe   December 22nd, 2010 11:20 am ET


You certainly have a warped perspective of reality!!!

How, exactly can you equate Churchill selling British land to Nazis and Arabs selling land to a Jew??

The selling of land by a private citizen, Arab, to another private citizen, Jew, in Palestine is subject to the death penalty!!!!! This is normal all over the world--– really????? Do you live in a basement somewhere???

Is this how it works in the US???? If someone holds citizenship in a country considered an enemy of the US, Iran NK- and you sell your home to them, you can be put to death?????

You are a flaming idiot!!

John A   December 23rd, 2010 10:45 am ET

Captain America,

Israelis will not agree with you, as they believe the land was given to them by God. Somewhere in the Israeli logic, they forget they actually grabbed the land from others with the use of jet bombers supplied by America.

For flaming idiots like Filipe and Miriam to make sense, we must assume that God was flying the Israeli Jets which won the land from the Palestinian owners.

Salma / Palestine   December 23rd, 2010 1:14 pm ET

Jews are racist , shouldn't be surprising !

proud zionist   December 26th, 2010 7:31 am ET

now Salma left the Jerualem Post blog and arrived here. John antisemite A must have brought her.
"grabbed the land with the use of jet bombers supplied by America"

Interesting, but a lie, as usual. Jet bombers in 1948 when Israel became independent. hahahahaha
John antisemite A, your ignorance is showing again and again, nitwit

proud zionist   December 26th, 2010 7:32 am ET

Racist Salma

An Arab selling land to a Jew faces mandatory death penalty.

If that's not racist.....

miriam   December 26th, 2010 8:33 am ET

John A,

There are Israelis who believe that the land was promised by God.
There are also Israelis who do not believe in God but are well aware that the land is the historical and cultural homeland of the Jewish people.

The Arabs know full well that the land is the Jewish homeland. That is why they spend so much time and energy creating myths and lies to the contrary, simultaneously denying and revising their own history.

Filipe   December 26th, 2010 1:46 pm ET

OT John A,

Exactly when did Israel "win" any land from Palestinian owners???

Did you forget that the land known as present day Israel was created by and provided for by a decision made by the UN and it's member nations. (No jets involved).

Or do you refer to when the West Bank was liberated from the Jordanian occupiers?

But, in neither case was there any land grabbed from Palestinian owners.

Go back to sleep!

John A   December 26th, 2010 4:01 pm ET

Proud Zionist is such a dummy, he doesn't believe America had jet bombers in 1948. Lets try to educate this retard. Google "North American B-45 Tornado".

Actually the Germans and British both had operational Jet bombers by the end of world war two.

But don't worry proud Zionist. Even though you know nothing and contribute nothing except for violence and hatred, America will give you most of what you need. And the rest you can rob from the Palestinians.

I wonder if Proud Zionist has ever done a days work or even taken time to read a single book. Proud Zionist, What a jack ass you are.

John A   December 26th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

proud zionist December 26th, 2010 7:32 am ET

Racist Salma

An Arab selling land to a Jew faces mandatory death penalty.

If that's not racist.....

Proud Jack Ass Zionist,

So are all those Jews sitting on Palestinian land, because they applied for a legitimate Palestinian visa? hahahahaha

You are blood thirsty invaders and you don't need to try and buy Palestinian land to deserve the death sentence. Israeli crimes against humanity and 60 years of breaking international law qualify you for the death sentence as much as Hitler was qualified.

Jason   December 27th, 2010 7:55 am ET

What the Rabbi's did goes against the democratic traditions in Israel and the promise to Arabs made in the declaration of independence:

"...participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions."

These Rabbi's, on the states parole no less, are out of line and must be charged with incitement and racism lest the state of Israel appears complacent in their actions!

miriam   December 27th, 2010 11:30 am ET

John A,

What Proud Zionist is saying is that the US did not provide any planes to Israel in 1948. The Neutrality Act forbade the export of aircraft to a foreign country.

Why would anybody have applied for a "Palestinian" visa?
Palestine is not a state and was not in 1948 or 1967.

Your repeated rhetoric of falsehoods regarding international law, crimes against humanity, stealing and invading land etc is straight out of Arab propaganda, influenced, as your admit, by Nazism and inpregnated with projectionism.

proud zionist   December 27th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

john antisemite A

your lies and hate tirades will not change facts. you ain't got no ffing idea what u r talking about

there is nop palestine, theer never was a palestine and there will be a palestine only if the pals, your dear friends, swear of terror

so if there is np palestine, there can be no pal visas, right, nitwit?

as for the jack ass, better than being a terror loving antisemite, don't u think so, antisemite?

Sid Dartha   December 28th, 2010 12:23 am ET

A shyster is a shyster in any denomination. Hitler would be proud of these rabbai's.

proud zionist   December 28th, 2010 7:12 am ET

and John antisemite A

as an afterthought, even in 1967 there were no US jetplanes in Israel

as usual instead of giving facts you just lie and hope nobody will notice

W R O N G antisemitic liar

proud zionist   December 28th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

Sid Dartha

as the son of Hitler, you should know, nitwit

proud zionist   December 28th, 2010 7:28 pm ET

Joh antisemite A

you should read what you write before starting to google B-45:

"Somewhere in the Israeli logic, they forget they actually grabbed the land from others with the use of jet bombers supplied by America."

Now let's see:

The US supplied "jet bombers" to Israel in 1969 for the first time.

But let me not confuse you with verifyable facts, antisemite, you keep on with your lies, your hare, your incitement, you despicable nitwit

Becket   December 30th, 2010 4:28 pm ET

The subject itself is as offensive as the rebuttals and denials of all the Zionists on this blog. The victims become the oppressors and the oppressors become the victims. Classic fascist doctrine but then what do expect from a fascists state right wing society? Déjà Vu.

Yusil   December 30th, 2010 6:13 pm ET

A few facts about about the apartheid state of Israel:

1) Jewish religious fatwa telling Jews they shouldn't lease apartments to "non-Jews" <– Arabs
2) A new law to allow neighbourhoods to vote on "who" can buy homes in the said neighbourhood.
3) To be a citizen you have to swear allegiance to a democratic "Jewish" Israel
4) Africans demonstrate in Tel Aviv because of awful treatment
5) Arab construction workers working on the Israeli congress building wear helmets with X's on them so snipers can see their targets
6) Israeli treatment to anyone with a Muslim name in airports (US Sec of State had to complain)
7)A Non-Jewish foreigner marrying an Israeli citizen can't get citizenship.
8) Israel T.V. ignores Arab citizens... an Israeli study shows 20% of the population gets less than 1% of T.V. time

John A   December 30th, 2010 6:34 pm ET

To all the Israeli idiots who say no such country as Palestine ever existed,

Before 1947, never in the history of the world was there ever a state called Israel! Israel was carved out of Arabic lands by the Western powers after world war 2.

What the west did in Palestine is no difference to what Hitler did to Europe or what the USSR did to Eastern Europe. The state of Israel was born out of western immorality.

Today another Israeli leader was found guilty of rape. Nearly all have been involved in corruption or belonged to former terror gangs. Lets not forget Israeli started terror attacks in the middle east.

Israelis can live in denial as long as they want, but the world rejects Israeli lies (with the exception of broken America).

As mentioned before, America is on the verge of collapse. After the US disappears from the world stage, Israel and her history of lies, racism, hatred and murder will be fully repaid.

Proud Zionist you simply increase the bill that the next generation of Israelis will pay in retribution for your Zionist crimes. Miriam your prejudice and joy of Arabic persecution will spur the next outcry of "woe to the Jews". Trouble is your so dumb, that you cant see how you and your type have sowed the seed of Israels destruction.

You Israelis sound like Hitler as he invaded Poland. Smug and invincible. In a short time you will all be in your bunkers and begging for mercy. You will be given the same mercy you have given to others.

The end of Israel is much closer than you think..

Filipe   January 2nd, 2011 1:10 pm ET

OT John A,

So, one more time.......... there never has been in the history of the world a country called Palestine !!!!

The word is nothing more than a Roman word used to rename a land which was known as the Kingdom of Israel for thousands of years.

Too bad you are so confused about historical facts.

marat   January 2nd, 2011 5:13 pm ET

The headline smacks of a condemnation of Israeli Jews as some kind of racist group. Nonsense. A genuine war has been waged by the Islamic world against Israel since 1948 when the Jewish people regained their homeland of thousands of years and Israel was reborn. What CNN does NOT TELL YOU is that the Palestinians in the West Bank passed a law recently that has a MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE of ANYONE who sells property to a Jewish person. Further–while Israel has a 20% Arab-Israeli population and many other ethnic groups, Abbas has stated MANY times that if there is a new Palestinian "state," NOT A SINGLE Jew will be allowed to live in it. The contrast could not be more extraordinary. And all the while, the Arabs have the audacity to oil the propaganda machine that "zionism" is somehow racist. Ridiculous. Israel IS a "Jewish State." But the vision of the founders and citizens of Israel was an OPEN one that embraced a true democracy. The consequences of Israel's vibrant democracy are clear. Good luck finding a single Arab citizen who would give up Israeli citizenship and live under the tyranny of any of the slew of Arab regimes in the area. Within decades, Israel has become an economic powerhouse and one of the premier high tech centers of the world. Its economy continues to thrive and it had the HIGHEST growth rate this year of any Western industrial nation. If Abbas had brains, he would realize that Jews in a future state would only bring greater prosperity to his Arab brethren. But then, that wouldn't play well to pan-Arab Israel hatred.

miriam   January 2nd, 2011 7:27 pm ET


Your points are either lies, distortions or innaccuracies.

Your list is most likely taken from one of Israel's various neighbours, substituting or switching the subjects.

Psychological projectionist.

miriam   January 2nd, 2011 7:49 pm ET

John A,

Your anti-Western/Israel rants continue to become increasingly desperate.

The Kingdom of Israel and the rest of Jewish history, the invention of Arab states by the British and French, European history etc we are already aware are irrelevent to you.

Your insistence that the Palestinians, who until 1967 had no independent national aspirations, could have had a state and that it was stolen by the Jews is an absolute myth.

Similarly, Arabs were terrorising the Jews and the British and refusing to be refered to as Arab Palestinians since they felt the word "Palestinian" was too Jewish, long before any Jew was permitted to possess any arms to defend themselves.

Diminishing the events of WW2 is a disgrace to humanity, particularly when used to demonize Israel and the Jews.

Your anti-Western rhetoric and hopes for its demise places you together with the most immoral and abusive players of this world, sowing the seeds for global destruction.

miriam   January 2nd, 2011 8:00 pm ET



You omitted the word prefix "anti-" before Zionist.

proud zionist   January 2nd, 2011 8:54 pm ET

John antisemite A

Hitler, your idol is proud of you

you lie like him, you incite to massacre Jews like him, you demand Lebensraum for Palestinians who did not exist before the 1960s. But as your mentor Josef Goebebls said, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

You are nothing but a despicable liar and antisemite, may God punish you for this, you miserable nitwit

proud zionist   January 3rd, 2011 7:10 am ET

Whenever John antisemite A is caught at another lie, he immediately suts up on the subject and goes on to different lies:

you should read what you write before starting to google B-45, You claimed:

"Somewhere in the Israeli logic, they forget they actually grabbed the land from others with the use of jet bombers supplied by America."

Now let's see:

The US supplied "jet bombers" to Israel in 1969 for the first time.

So you are the liar, as always.

But let me not confuse you with verifyable facts, antisemite, you keep on with your lies, your hare, your incitement, you despicable nitwit

Danny   February 16th, 2011 2:10 pm ET

proud zionist December 26th, 2010 7:32 am ET

Racist Salma

An Arab selling land to a Jew faces mandatory death penalty.

If that's not racist.....


No its not, becaus the palestinian is following international law even though the punishment is harsh, but i guess palestininans face the death penalty from israelis for crossing the road nevermind anything criminal! An israeli building on occupied land is criminal and punishable, so an israeli selling palestinian land is punishable in the country of the offence!

mick   March 21st, 2011 3:32 pm ET

How much did the stinking jews sale jesus for ?

Answer this proud zionist !

You are ignorant on all topics on all topics.

Did you know that there were not six million jews in all of Europe when the holohoax was supposed to have happened ?

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