Last year, the municipality of Kiryat Gat, a town of 50,000 Jews in southern Israel, launched a program in schools to warn Jewish girls of the dangers of dating local Bedouin men.
The girls were shown a video titled , which describes mixed couples as an “unnatural phenomenon.” Haim Shalom, head of the municipality’s welfare department, is filmed saying: “The girls, in their innocence, go with the exploitative Arab.” A police representative also warns that the Bedouin men’s “goal is to take advantage of the girls.
In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.
Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behavior as a threat to the state’s Jewishness.
One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with “national treason.” Since the state’s founding in 1948, analysts have noted, a series of legal and administrative measures have been taken by Israel to limit the possibilities of close links developing between Jewish and Arab citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population.
The problem with the woman-animal is you can never tell between snuggle and bite. Some days you get snuggle, some days you get bite, some days you get both, and some days you get bitten twice. I am married now for almost 30 years, to the same little minx I snagged in Israel, and sometimes she is cute little snuggle-bug and sometimes she bites. Women are extremely unpredictable animals, so as a married man who has gone through the dating game (okay, so it was a few hundred years ago, but it was in Israel) I can only offer you best wishes.“The Jewish soul is a precious, all-too-rare resource, and we are not prepared to give up on even a single one,” says the website.Yad L’achim’s founder, Rabbi Shlomo Dov Lifschitz, is quoted on the site saying: “People must understand that Jewish-Arab marriages are part of the larger Israeli-Arab conflict. They [Arab men] see it as their goal to marry them [Jewish women] and ensure that their children aren’t raised as Jews. They feel that if they can’t defeat us in war, they can wipe us out this way.” The degree of general opposition in Israel to interracial marriage was suggested by a government-backed television ad campaign earlier this month that urged Israeli Jews to inform on relatives abroad who were in danger of marrying a non-Jew.In Pisgat Zeev, a settlement of 40,000 Jews, some 35 Jewish men are reported to belong to a patrol known as “Fire for Judaism” that tries to stop interracial dating.One member, who identified himself as Moshe to newspaper, said: “Our goal is to be in contact with these girls and try to explain to them the dangers of what they’re getting themselves into.He estimated that several hundred Arab men had moved into the city as a result.Petah Tikva’s hostility to Arab men mixing with local Jewish women is shared by other communities.“We can’t tell the girls what to do but we can send a psychologist to their home to offer them and their parents advice,” he said.Motti Zaft, the deputy mayor, told the Ynet website that the municipality was also cracking down on city homeowners who illegally subdivide apartments to rent them cheaply to single Arab men looking for work in the Tel Aviv area.