blog | If you marry a Jew, the State will come and get you

…or rather, get your Jewish partner.  Check out this ad, and then scroll down for the real thing – a mixed dates patrol unit:

Translation: “50 percent of young Diaspora Jews assimilate (=intermarry), and get lost. Do you know a young Jewish person abroad? Call the Journey project, and together we will work to strengthen his Jewish identity, so that we don’t lose them.”

But while the Zionist Agency is talking the talk, Petah Tikva municipality is walking the walk – the patrol walk. The city hall there is establishing a patrol unit to break up Arab-Jewish dates. What follows is a translation of the relevant excerpt from a local Yediot Ahronot paper. “Minority men” is a depressingly transparent euphemism for Arabs, and I tried to preserve the stale and clumsy language of the original:

Municipality will locate girls going out with men from minorities

The youth department of the Petah Tikva municipality set up today a special team to assist young girls in the habit of mingling with men from minorities | Einav Yossef-Zada, Ynet 14.09.09

A special team in the youth department of the Petah Tikva municipality will locate [Jewish – DR] girls in the habit of meeting with men from minorities and will assist them. The decision comes after a relationship was discovered between a girl from the city and minority men from Jaljulya who murdered Arik Karp last month on a Tel Aviv beach.

“The problem of minority men is well-known,” said the chief of the youth department, Moshe Spektor. “Our attempts to deal with this problem are real and sincere. The municipality is making an effort to examine the matter in cooperation with the police.”

Noam Sheizaf elaborates on the same subject here. Protest groups against the ad and the sentiment it embodies are here and here. Petah Tikva public complaints e-mail is here, and mayor Yitzhak Ohayon can be reached here or by phone – +972.3.9052248 (03.9052248 from within Israel). Be polite, and if any exchange results, tell me how it goes.

Update: There’s now an op-ed of mine at the Guardian about the ad and Israeli prejudice against Diaspora Jews. Also, the Jerusalem Post apparently covered the story a few days later and interviewed some of those involved. It’s quite sympathetic to the initiative, and tries to blur the nationalist motivation for the move.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “blog | If you marry a Jew, the State will come and get you

  1. Pingback: Promised Land » Blog Archive » Kahana lives in Petah Tikva / Municipality to trace girls who date Arabs

  2. Pingback: Tel Aviv suburb starts anti-miscegenation patrol to ‘assist young girls in the habit of mingling with men from minorities’

  3. Any updates on the Petah Tikva story?

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  5. Pingback: Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to stop Jewish girls dating Arabs « Dimi’s notes

  6. Pingback: Tel Aviv presents: municipal program to prevent Arab boys from dating Jewish girls « Coteret

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  9. Steffen Gassel

    Hello there, Dimi Reider,
    I am a journalist with Stern magazine from Germany. I will be in Israel the next few days to cover the “rape by deception” story that has made headlines recently.
    I found some of the issues you discuss in your blog very relevant to the wider context of the judgment. Would very much like to meet and discuss with you.
    Please let me know how to reach you by email and/or telephone.
    Bests,
    Steffen Gassel

  10. Pingback: REAL NAZI POLICY | SHOAH

  11. This is pretty disturbing, but I think we should be looking at the issue from an institutional perspective. Israel is a state where the people who control it need a certain ethnic demographic within the population (in this case, Jews) in order to maintain their power. In other words, if Israel loses its “Jewishness” those people who control the state now will start to have their power wither away. That’s why many in Israeli society probably feel the “need” to “keep Israel Jewish”.

    The state is an elite power structure, but for the nationalist it is also an extension of who they are. This egotistical nationalistic think needs to die out soon.

  12. Saroj Mahanta

    Hi,
    I went through the article and the first question which comes in my mind is, is the Jewish religion so weak that people, specially girls are running away from their community. Every people may have different views about this topic. But i believe, if Jewish want to grow as a group and maintain its unique identity, then instead of running behind individuals and convincing them , do something to strengthen their values, morales. I know saying is much easier than doing, but there is no other way out. If people are liking other communities and/or finding themselves comfortable in other religion than there most be something wrong in the existing so-called social law book. I am not a great philosopher or pointing any finger on something or someone, but i am here highlighting a point, which may be felt reasonable to some or others. First of all, we need to see our own family , then the neighbours , city and then the country. Unity(feeling of bondness) begins from the house itself.

    Hope, i am able to put my thoughts in correct direction. i dont mean to hurt anyone’s beliefs.
    However, if you have like/dislike comments on my thoughts than do write me at saroj.mahanta@gmail.com. I am staying in Petach Tikva and I am a well wisher of its inhabitants.

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