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Rabbis' Wives in Israel Warn Against Dating Arab Men

At least 27 wives of Israeli rabbis have signed a letter urging Jewish women to avoid dating Arab men, after dozens of rabbis signed a religious ruling that forbids renting homes to non-Jews.

The letter warns Jewish women that they will suffer if they date Arab men. It also warns against working in places where Arabs are employed. It was distributed Tuesday by the Jewish group, Lehava.

Earlier this month, dozens of Israeli rabbis signed the letter forbidding home rentals. In their appeal, the clerics said "different lifestyles from Jews" could endanger lives.

The letter fueled charges of racism and was condemned by some lawmakers and human rights activists.

The letters could raise tensions between Israel's Jews and its Arab minority at a time when international efforts are underway to revive direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.