ADL Condemns Housing Discrimination In Bnei Brak

Jerusalem, November 15, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the recent decrees by rabbis in Bnei Brak prohibiting residents from renting apartments to African migrants, calling them "biased pronouncements."

ADL's Israel Office issued the following statement:

We are deeply disturbed by the calls from rabbis in Bnei Brak to discriminate against migrants who have come to Israel seeking refuge from the genocide in Sudan. The decision to rent an apartment to another human being shouldn't be based on ethnic background.  

We encourage the rabbis to follow the Jewish tradition of tolerance and empathy toward other human beings. We call on the religious, political and civic leadership in Israel to stand by the democratic values of acceptance and understanding and speak out against these biased pronouncements. 

This is the latest in an extremely troubling string of calls from rabbis to prohibit their followers from renting to various ethnic groups. A few months ago, rabbis in Tel-Aviv decreed that people should not rent apartments to African migrants and just last week there were calls for residents of Safed not to rent property to Bedouins.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.