New racist rabbinical letter warns against dating Arabs

Posted: December 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Right | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Poll finds half of the Jewish public in Israel supporting the ruling against renting homes to Arabs

As if the Rabbis’ edict against renting homes to Arabs wasn’t enough, a new letter, made public yesterday, has some 30 well-known wives of Orthodox Rabbis warning Jewish girls against dating Arabs or even working with them.

Ynet reports:

The letter stated that “there are quite a few Arab workers who use Hebrew names. Yusuf becomes Yossi, Samir becomes Sami and Abed becomes Ami. They seek your proximity, try to appeal to you and give you all the attention you could ask for, they actually know how be polite and act making you believe they really care…but their behavior is only temporary.

“As soon as they have in you in their grasp, in their village, under their complete control – everything becomes different. Your life will never be the same, and the attention you sought will be replaced with curses, physical abuse and humiliation.”

The letter further stated, “Your grandmothers never dreamed that one of their decedents would, by one act, remove future generations from the Jewish people. For you, for future generations, and so that you will never have to endure the terrible suffering, we appeal to you, begging, pleading, praying: Don’t date them, don’t work where they work and don’t perform National Service with them.”

One of the names on the letter is that of Nitzhia Yosef, the wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef and daughter-in-law of Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

The notion that Arabs change their names in order to seduce Jewish girls is not new. It was a common talking point by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the ultra-right leader and founder of JDL who was kicked out of the Knesset for his racist platform. At the time, Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar wrote that the actions of Kahane remind us “the worst persecutions in Jewish history” (as Ariana Melamed noted, Hitler made similar accusations in chapter 11 of Mein Kampf: “With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people.”)

Rabbi Kahane was expelled for public life back in the eighties, and Israel today is a very different place. A recent poll by the Harry S. Truman institute in the Hebrew university had 44 percent of the Jewish population in Israel supporting the Rabbis letter that forbid renting homes to Arabs (the wives’ letter was published after the poll was conducted). As I reported last year, the municipality of Petah Tirva, a Tel Aviv suburb, even formed a special unit that would “locate and help girls that date Arabs.

Last year, residents of a Jewish neighborhood found the following flyer in their mailbox. It reads: “This Arab, which works at the Zil Ve-Zol grocery store in Romema [Jerusalem] is dangerous for the daughters of Israel, he violates Jewish girls!!!”

At the time, some people have seen this as an isolated incident. Today, it’s clear that racism against the Arab minority became a political norm.

As Yossi Gurvitz wrote, many in the Israeli leadership, including PM Netanyahu himself, made their political fortune on incitement and hate-talk. It’s very unlikely that they will take action against the Rabbis’ wives, just as they didn’t take action against their husbands – most of them civil servants, making their living of taxpayer money. The grim news is that Israel doesn’t have a leader that would send the National Guard to Little Rock or the FBI to Mississippi. Instead, we have our KKK high priests serving at our synagogues, and our George Wallaces at the Knesset.

3 Comments on “New racist rabbinical letter warns against dating Arabs”

  1. 1 John Welch said at 11:04 pm on January 2nd, 2011:

    “Poll finds half of the Jewish public in Israel supporting the ruling against renting homes to Arabs”

    Astonishing. The anti-miscegenation laws have been revived.

    In what way does Israel differ from apartheid South Africa, other than there seem to be many more ethical Israelis than there were ethical Afrikaaners.

  2. 2 Tom Mitchell said at 11:44 am on January 3rd, 2011:

    As someone who has had two books published that compare AND CONTRAST Israel, Northern Ireland and South Africa, let me give you a short list of the differences:
    1) The Israelis have been a majority of the population of their country since independence; the whites made up between 10 and 15 percent of the total population of South Africa throughout the 20th century with the Afrikaners making up about 60 percent of the white population.
    2) White politics used a first-past-the-post franchise system resulting in a two-three party system nationally, although some more parties existed on a one or two province basis; the Israeli Knesset has usually had 10-12 parties represented at any one time.
    3) In the racial struggle in South Africa it was the government that normally resorted to terrorism, whereas the ANC restricted itself to sabotage and guerrilla warfare as its forms of armed struggle; the Palestinians have since 1929 used terrorism as their primary form of armed struggle.
    4) Israel has had former senior officers active in electoral politics since 1954; in South Africa former senior officers were active in the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1948 but in the Republic of South Africa under white minority rule there was only one former senior officer active in white politics (Defense Minister Magnus Malan from 1980-91).
    5) Pretoria had the backing of Great Britian until the early 1960s and then was politically isolated internationally except for its alliance with the West during the Angolan civil war in 1975-76 and with Jerusalem; Jerusalem has the backing of Washington.
    6) Pretoria was vulnerable to sanctions because of the bloated apartheid system with its redundant bureaucracies and make-work schemes for Afrikaners; Israel is much less vulnerable because of its high-tech industrial sectors.
    7) Although both the Afrikaners and Israeli Jews can be classified as settlers, only the latter population are returned natives creating a much different perception in the West.
    8) The South African economy was much closer to the Arab economies–reliant on mineral extraction–than to the Israeli economy.

    I could probably think of more ways given more time, but this is what I could come up with in about 10-15 minutes off the top of my head. Israel is much more comparable to Northern Ireland than to South Africa. In Northern Ireland the unionists are a majority but a minority on the island of Ireland; Jews are a majority in Israel but a minority in the region.

  3. 3 noam said at 9:37 am on January 4th, 2011:

    thanks for the interesting comment, Tom.