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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Round the ‘Racist’ Rabbi, Friends of IRAC Run!

Israel’s Reform movement is fighting the appointment of ‘racist’ Rabbi  Shmuel Eliyahu to the State’s renowned emergency service, Magen David Adom.

Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action  Centre told supporters last week:

MDA.Bulgaria“Recently MDA decided to establish a rabbinical committee to set religious  guidelines on gender relations and issues of ‘modesty’ for their volunteers. Having a rabbinic committee decide on issues of gender in a major non-profit organisation is objectionable, but the decision by MDA to appoint one of Israel's most racist rabbis to head it is completely incomprehensible.

“Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, is a figure that defies all conventional logic. Any one of the countless statements against Israel’s non-Jewish minorities made by this man would have ended the career of nearly any other public figure.”

Ms Hoffman urged supporters to challenge the appointment by writing to the American Friends of MDA and asking them to reconsider their move.

However, Robert Rosenthal of the AFMDA says his organisation “is not involved in MDA's decision-making process in matters like this appointment. Nor should this appointment be construed as an endorsement of Rabbi Eliyahu's political views.

“In a multicultural, democratic society such as Israel's, it's essential every Israeli feels they have a place in organisations such as Magen David Adom …MDA has proven that Israelis of different backgrounds, beliefs, and genders can work cooperatively and efficiently. Rabbi Eliyahu's appointment was nothing more than a means of providing a forum through which MDA's Haredi (ultra Orthodox ) volunteers could be reassured their work is not violating Jewish law,” he explained.

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