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Sephardi chief rabbi hopeful to be questioned over Arab slurs

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel’s attorney general will question a candidate for Sephardi chief rabbi regarding Arab slurs by the rabbi.

Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the northern city of Safed, will be questioned by Yehuda Weinstein following a call by Labor Knesset member Eitan Cabel for Eliyahu to be disqualified from the chief rabbi race, according to the Times of Israel.

Eliyahu has instructed Jewish residents of Safed not to rent or sell property to Arabs and, in 2010, he told the Israeli daily Maariv that “a Jew should not flee from Arabs. A Jew should make the Arabs flee. There is a silent war going on here for land” and “most of the violence in Israeli society stems from the Arabs.”

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also is considering disciplinary action against Eliyahu. According to the Times of Israel, Livni said that “a chief rabbi represents not just the rabbinate but Israel itself as a country.”

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