Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu has gained a lot of respect in his own city, but in light of his recent statements and activities – many in the general public consider him a racist.
The State authorities believe he may have crossed the line too, and last week the attorney general decided to launch a criminal investigation against the rabbi on suspicion of incitement to racism.
Did he really break the law by saying that "a Jew should not escape from Arabs, a Jew should drive Arabs away" or "the Arab culture is very cruel"?
We'll know the answer once the State Prosecutor's Office receives the results of the investigation, but in the meantime, Rabbi Eliyahu himself believes he is being discriminated against.
"It's unthinkable that journalists have the freedom of press and are above the law, academics have academic freedom, actors have artistic freedom, every person in this country has some kind of freedom from the law – and only I have to be subject to the law? In your dreams!" the rabbi says in a special interview to Orot – Jewish Television.
"An unfair trial is not a trial. It's nothing," he adds.
According to Rabbi Eliyahu, there is an Arab attempt "to occupy the country with money" and Israel must not give in.
Asked where an Arab who wants to live in Safed or Akko should go to, he replies: "There are enough villages. Do we have to turn Arab into an Arab city? What for?"