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Thread: Israeli Government Ads Warn Against Marrying Non-Jews

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    Israeli Government Ads Warn Against Marrying Non-Jews

    The Israeli government has launched a television and Internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

    The advertisements, employing what the Israeli media described as "scare tactics," are designed to stop assimilation through intermarriage among young Diaspora Jews by encouraging their move to Israel.

    The campaign, which cost $800,000, was created in response to reports that half of all Jews outside Israel marry non-Jews. It is just one of several initiatives by the Israeli state and private organizations to try to increase the size of Israel's Jewish population.

    According to one ad, voiced over by one of the country's leading news anchors, assimilation is "a strategic national threat," warning: "More than 50 percent of Diaspora youth assimilate and are lost to us."

    Adam Keller, of Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace group, said this was a reference both to a general fear in Israel that the Jewish people may one day disappear through assimilation and to a more specific concern that, if it is to survive, Israel must recruit more Jews to its "demographic war" against Palestinians.

    The issue of assimilation has been thrust into the limelight by a series of surveys over several years carried out by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a think tank established in Jerusalem in 2002 comprising leading Israeli and Diaspora officials.

    The institute's research has shown that Israel is the only country in the world with a significant Jewish population not decreasing in size. The decline elsewhere is ascribed both to low birth rates and to widespread intermarriage.

    According to the institute, about half of all Jews in Western Europe and the United States assimilate by intermarrying, while the figure for the former Soviet Jewry is reported to reach 80 percent.

    Israel, whose Jewish population of 5.6 million accounts for 41 percent of worldwide Jewry, has obstructed intermarriage between its Jewish and Arab citizens by refusing to recognize such marriages unless they are performed abroad.

    The advertising campaign is directed particularly at Jews in the United States and Canada, whose combined 5.7 million Jews constitute the world's largest Jewish population. Most belong to the liberal Reform stream of Judaism that, unlike Orthodoxy, does not oppose intermarriage.

    One-third of Jews in the Diaspora are believed to have relatives in Israel.

    According to the campaign's organizers, more than 200 Israelis rang a hot line to report names of Jews living abroad after the first TV advertisement was run on Wednesday. Callers left details of e-mail addresses and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    The 30-second clip featured a series of missing-persons posters on street corners, in subways and on telephone boxes showing images of Jewish youths above the word "Lost" in different languages. A voiceover asks anyone who "knows a young Jew living abroad" to call the hot line: "Together, we will strengthen their connection to Israel, so that we don't lose them."

    The campaign supports a government-backed program, Masa, that subsidizes stays and courses in Israel of up to one year in a bid to persuade Jews to immigrate and become citizens. About 8,000 Diaspora Jews attend its program each year.

    The government has been trying to develop Masa alongside a rival program, Birthright Israel, which brings nearly 20,000 Diaspora youngsters to Israel each year on sponsored 10-day trips to meet Israeli soldiers and visit sites in Israel and the West Bank that are promoted as important to the Jewish people.

    Although Birthright is regarded as useful in encouraging a positive image of Israel, officials fear it has only a limited effect on attracting its mainly North American participants to move to Israel. Many regard it as an all-paid holiday.

    Differences in the approach of the two programs were underlined in July when a Birthright director, Shlomo Lifshittz, resigned and moved to Masa after telling the Israeli media he had been forbidden from urging Birthright participants to migrate to Israel and shun intermarriage.

    In launching the campaign, Masa's chief executive, Ayelet Shilo-Tamir, warned that assimilation worldwide was putting Jews "on the verge of negative growth."

    Masa officials said young Jews who participate in their projects strengthened their Jewish identity and were more likely to become politically and socially active on behalf of Israel-related issues.

    The campaign quickly provoked a storm of debate on Jewish blogs, especially in the United States, with some terming it "divisive" and an insult to Jewish offspring of intermarriage. A link to Masa's "Lost" campaign had been dropped from the front page of its Web site yesterday, possibly in response to the backlash.

    The campaign will probably strike a chord in Israel, however, where a poll in 2007 found that 46 percent of Israeli Jews believed all Jews should live in Israel because it was "the only way Israel and the Jewish people will be strengthened."

    That position has been echoed by Israel's leaders, although most have been careful not to upset the delicate balance of relations with Diaspora communities.

    Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was widely regarded as having overstepped those bounds in 2004 during a visit to France when he urged French Jews to come to Israel because France was experiencing "the spread of the wildest anti-Semitism."

    Sharon had been outspoken in wanting 1 million Jews to immigrate to Israel to counter a "demographic threat" from the rapid growth of the Palestinian populations in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Numerical parity between Jews and Palestinians living in the region is expected to be reached within a decade.

    That theme has been picked up by his successors, Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu.

    There is growing concern in Israel that immigration rates have steadily declined since a large wave of 1 million Jews arrived from the former Soviet Union through the 1990s. The absorption figure for last year -- 16,500 -- was the lowest since the 1980s. It is also believed that there is a growing trend of better-off Jews leaving Israel to live abroad, although figures are not publicized.

    Keller, of Gush Shalom, said few Jews in the United States or Europe, the main target of the campaign, needed to come to Israel for material reasons.

    "They come from ideological motives, and many of them are right-wing nationalists who can be encouraged to settle in the West Bank."

    The Israeli government and various organizations subsidize the immigration of Diaspora Jews to Israel.

    Last year, the Jewish Agency handed over responsibility for locating new immigrants to Nefesh B'Nefesh, a private organization that promotes on its Web site a dozen settlements in the West Bank, including hard-line communities such as Kedumim, near Nablus, and Efrat, near Bethlehem.

    "Last week, Israeli TV showed a group of immigrants arriving in Israel to go to Efrat," Keller said. "They were shown being greeted at the airport by a large clapping crowds of Israelis waving flags in support."
    Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His Web site is www.jkcook.net.

    A version of this article originally appeared in The National), published in Abu Dhabi.
    http://www.alternet.org/world/142478...ying_non-jews_

    Oh the hypocrisy!

    By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

    A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them.

    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 organisations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.

    In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods 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 behaviour 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.

    Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to become familiarised with each other. Even in the handful of “mixed cities”, Arab residents are usually confined to separate neighbourhoods.

    In addition, civil marriage is banned in Israel, meaning that in the small number of cases where Jews and Arabs want to wed, they can do so only by leaving the country for a ceremony abroad. The marriage is recognised on the couple’s return.

    Yuval Yonay, a sociologist at Haifa University, said the number of interracial marriages was “too small to be studied”. “Separation between Jews and Arabs is so ingrained in Israeli society, it is surprising that anyone manages to escape these central controls.”

    The team in Petah Tikva, a Jewish city of 200,000 residents, was created in direct response to news that two Jewish girls, aged 17 and 19, were accompanying a group of young Arab men when they allegedly beat a Jewish man, Leonard Karp, to death last month on a Tel Aviv beach. The older girl was from Petah Tikva.

    The girls’ involvement with the Arab youths has revived general concern that a once-firm taboo against interracial dating is beginning to erode among some young people.

    In sentiments widely shared, Hezi Hakak, a spokesman for Petah Tikva municipality, said “Russian girls” -- young Jewish women whose parents arrived in Israel over the past two decades, since the collapse of the former Soviet Union -- were particularly vulnerable to the attention of Arab men.

    Dr Yonay said Russian women were less closed to the idea of relationships with Arab men because they “did not undergo the religious and Zionist education” to which more established Israeli Jews were subject.

    Mr Hakak said the municipality had created a hotline that parents and friends of the Jewish women could use to inform on them.

    “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. 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.

    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 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.”

    He denied that violence or threats were used against Arab men.

    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.”

    In 2004, posters sprang up all over the northern town of Safed warning Jewish women that dating Arab men would lead to “beatings, hard drugs, prostitution and crime”.

    Safed’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, told a local newspaper that the “seducing” of Jewish girls was “another form of war” by Arab men.

    Both Kiryat Gat and Safed’s campaigns were supported by a religious organisation called Yad L’achim, which runs an anti-assimilation team publicly dedicated to “saving” Jewish women.

    According to its website, the organisation 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.

    “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 childen aren’t raised as Jews. This is their revenge against the Jewish people. They feel that if they can’t defeat us in war, they can wipe us out this way.”

    The degree of 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.

    She also notes that Israel’s adoption and surrogacy laws require that adoptive parents be of the same ethnic group as the biological mother.
    http://www.newworldorderreport.com/D...id=266&ID=8091

    The Israeli government has launched a television and Internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

    The advertisements, employing what the Israeli media described as “scare tactics,” are designed to stop assimilation through intermarriage among young Diaspora Jews by encouraging their move to Israel.

    The campaign, which cost $800,000, was created in response to reports that half of all Jews outside Israel marry non-Jews. It is just one of several initiatives by the Israeli state and private organizations to try to increase the size of Israel’s Jewish population.

    According to one ad, voiced over by one of the country’s leading news anchors, assimilation is “a strategic national threat,” warning: “More than 50 percent of Diaspora youth assimilate and are lost to us.” (…)

    According to the campaign’s organizers, more than 200 Israelis rang a hot line to report names of Jews living abroad after the first TV advertisement was run on Wednesday. Callers left details of e-mail addresses and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    The 30-second clip featured a series of missing-persons posters on street corners, in subways and on telephone boxes showing images of Jewish youths above the word “Lost” in different languages. A voiceover asks anyone who “knows a young Jew living abroad” to call the hot line: “Together, we will strengthen their connection to Israel, so that we don’t lose them.”
    http://bradtaylor.wordpress.com/2009...cial-marriage/

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    You have to laugh really. The Jews themselves are victims of their own multicult/miscengenation propaganda and now they feel once again that they can say things that they stop others from saying.

    I doubt this will work though, I think these Jews will keep marrying outside their religion/race and Israel will be brought down from within.

    Oh happy days!
    I grew up on a belief of honour, courage and the old world values. The world isn't about that anymore, preferring to die a slow death of fast food and cheap thrills.

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    Oh sweet, sweet irony.

    It is only too bad that it is most likely our people that they are intermarrying with.

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    I have a feeling they are marrying Muslims and Non Whites for some reason.
    I grew up on a belief of honour, courage and the old world values. The world isn't about that anymore, preferring to die a slow death of fast food and cheap thrills.

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