A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counselors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them. 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.
The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate ― and little discussed ― initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organizations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage. 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.
will cast away many nations from before you: the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, seven nations...
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.
He estimated that several hundred Arab men had moved into the city as a result.One member, who identified himself as Moshe to the Jerusalem Post 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.In the last 10 years, 60 girls from Pisgat Zeev have gone into [Palestinian] villages [in the West Bank].And most of them aren't heard from after that."Last year, the municipality of Kiryat Gat, a town of 50,000 Jews in southern Israel, launched a programme in schools to warn Jewish girls of the dangers of dating local Bedouin men.The girls were shown a video titled Sleeping with the Enemy, 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.There is no element of love or an innocent friendly relationship here."According to its website, the organization receives more than 100 calls a month about Jewish women living with Arab men, both in Israel and the West Bank.It launches "military-like rescues [of the women] from hostile Arab villages" in co-ordination with the police and army.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.The ads were hastily withdrawn by surprised Israeli officials after many US Jews took offence.In her book Birthing the Nation, Rhoda Kanaaneh, a Middle East scholar at New York University, points out that "politicians frequently attack 'peace' or 'dialogue' programs for promoting miscegenation" in fear that it will lead to Jewish assimilation.