26 Tamuz 5773
According to a report by Yeshiva World News:
Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, the rav of the Ramban Shul in Yerushalayim, is not certain if the candidacy of Tzfas Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu in the Chief Rabbinate race is a fitting one.
...In his Facebook page posting, Rabbi Lau explains that a candidate must be “connected to the state and the Zionist enterprise.”
Regarding one’s connection to the state, Rabbi Lau says “the connection must be with the government and its institutions. The Chief Rabbinate is a state institution and the selection of a candidate who does not identify with all aspects of democracy cannot faithfully serve all the citizens. Candidates must state in a clear unequivocal voice that he accepts the laws of the country (including full equality for non-Jewish citizens).”
Regarding the Zionist vision the candidate must identify with “the ingathering of the exiles and a return to Tzion”, Rabbi Lau adds. This demands finding an acceptable solution for hundreds of thousands of citizens living in the state, the many new immigrants who are not Jewish according to Halacha but maintain a connection with the Jewish People. Cutting off from these people is tantamount to cutting oneself off from the Zionist enterprise.”
I've no doubt whatsoever that "Rabbi Dr." Lau is right in his assessment and on that basis I would agree that Rav Shmuel Eliyahu would NOT make a "fitting" Chief Rabbi for the state because he is too much a man of truth and too much in awe of Hashem and the integrity of our holy Torah to fit this criteria.
One look at some of those who are arrayed against Rav Eliyahu will tell you just how right he is...
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein joins a growing list of officials opposing the candidacy of Tzfas Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu,.... Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, MK Aliza Lavie and MK Eitan Cabel have come out publically in opposition to the rabbi’s candidacy due to his hawkish right-wing hashkafa and statements prohibiting sale or renting of propriety to Arabs.
Rabbi Amnon Bazak of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion joins the list of outspoken opponents to the candidacy of Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu for the post of Rishon L’Tzion.
The day that a real God-fearing rabbi like Rav Shmuel Eliyahu is "fit" to become the state's new Chief Rabbi will be the day that Mashiach himself will send the rabbi his personal congratulations.