A rabbi was violently assaulted in Jaffa in an apparent hate crime on Sunday while seeking to purchase an apartment to house his yeshiva.
Two men in their 30s were arrested over the beating of Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, who runs the Shirat Moshe Hesder Yeshiva in the mixed Jewish-Arab city adjacent to Tel Aviv.
Channel 12 reported that Mali and his colleague went to a building in Jaffa to view the property. The two were surrounded by Arab residents of the area, who began to yell at them and order them to leave. When they refused and began filming the incident, the suspects began beating Mali and his colleague.
Mali did not require hospitalization for his injuries.
Photos posted online showed the rabbi, in his sixties, being kicked to the ground.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the “violent attack” and urged law enforcement to swiftly bring the assailants to justice.
Right-wing lawmakers also strongly condemned the attack, calling it anti-Semitic.
“The State of Israel is not a shtetl in which Jews can be harmed,” Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett tweeted, referring to the Jewish hamlets of Eastern Europe. “The severe and overt violence against Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, the head of the hesder yeshiva in Jaffa, is a… national disgrace.”
“We are witnessing a series of attacks by Arab assailants against Torah-observant Jews, which are deliberate and anti-Semitic,” he said.
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz described the incident as “chilling” and urged police to bring the attackers to justice.
Police said they’re investigating the case.
The incident came days after a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem was arrested on suspicion he slapped two ultra-Orthodox boys on a train in the capital and then posted the footage of the unprovoked assault on TikTok.