Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to prevent Arab boys from dating Jewish girls

Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to prevent Arab boys from dating Jewish girls

February 24, 2010

Dimi Reider is a journalist and photographer, working  from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  His articles have been published in the Guardian, Jerusalem Post, Index on Censorship, Counterpunch and Peace Reporter.  Dimi co-edits Kav-Hutz – an attempt to provide  fresh and engaging commentary and analysis on the world outside Israel.  He currently works for Haaretz newspaper. He blogs at Dimi’s Notes
Scroll down for update on this post.
Maariv reported on February 23 that the  Tel Aviv municipality launched  a “counselling program” to “help”  Jewish girls who date and/or marry Arab boys.

Grassroots and governmental campaigning against interfaith mingling is  nothing new in Israel: Just a few months ago there was a “task force” set up by the municipalioty of Petah Tikva, which is basically a suburb of Tel Aviv. The job of the task force was to patrol the city at night and break up Arab-Jewish dates. The London Times also covered the activities of a concerned parents’ group vigilante gang patrolling the rapidly integrating Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, intimidating mixed couples.

On top of that, we have the activities of a huge, quasi-paramilitary group called Yad Leachim that goes on army-style”rescue operations” of Jewish women from their Gentile husbands (homegrown terrorist Jacob Teitel boasts working with them for a while, which they deny), and, lest we forget, the insane Jewish Agency campaign about non-Jewish partners kidnapping 50% of the young Jews in the Diaspora.

But this is the first time officially sanctioned racism, funded by taxpayers, has come to Tel Aviv, Israel’s liberal heartland.

Tel Aviv: City launches program to prevent relationships between Jewish girls and minorities

Moria Ben Yossef, Zman Tel-Aviv [Maariv Tel-Aviv Weekly Magazine] February 23 2010 [Hebrew original here]

The municipal finance committee decided three weeks ago to  give NIS 250,000 [~$66,000] to what it refers to as “‘an aid program for immigrant girls at risk”. The program will be launched this month in the Shapira, Kiryat Shalom and Nevs Ofer neighborhoods. The committee said some of the project’s aims are ‘locating immigrant girls at risk… case-specific family and community intervention to locate the girls… and locating the appropriate figures in the community to treat the girls.’

The program is aimed to treat up to 120 young women under 22, and is jointly run by the Tel Aviv Municipality, the Absorption Ministry (which will sponsor 75 percent of it), and the World Congress of Bukharan Jews

…”the term ‘distressed immigrant girls’ is politically correct whitewash for the true destination of the budget,” a senior source in the municipality said. “This is a war against the trend of scores of Jewish girls getting together with minority men and with migrant workers, and then getting into trouble with their families and the families of the minority men, that often ostracize them for being Jewish.”

According to councilwoman Yael Ben Yeffet (City for All), who sits on the finance committee, municipality director-general Menachem Leibe said at the meeting that the girls in question belong mainly to the Bukhara community, who get together with criminals and minority men. “When I asked him if getting together with members of minorities constituted being at risk, Leibe replied: ‘For the families that ostracise them it is’”, Ben Yeffet said.

The decision to support the boycott appears to have resulted from lobbying by councilman Benjamin Babyuf (Shas), himself a Bukhara Jew and a resident of Kiryat Shalom. Babyuf approached some months ago mayor Ron Huldai with a request to set up a municipal organization to locate and treat the girls in question. In his request, Babyuf spoke of girls getting “assimilated,” and suggested increasing funding to part-time religious schools operate by Shas, which take up young women meeting with Arab men.

These girls come from a poor socio-economic background,” Babyouf explains. “They don’t get enough attention. Very often these are unpopular girls whose appearance is unattractive, and these men use this,” he said.

“It’s happening across the country and in Tel Aviv, too, but it’s particularly rife in Jaffa and the south of the city, where the population is more diverse,” said a Shas activists who had been running the part-time religious schools for 20 years and can only be identified as N. “They got out hunting for girls… we’re talking about local Arabs and Arabs from villages coming to Tel Aviv for work. At first they shower them with love and money, they spoil them, and then they take them back to their village – usually after getting married. From our experience we know this is where this Romeo and Juliet plot turns into an action movie. They become enslaved. We had some really hard cases of girls who approached us and we helped them. They were begging to leave but their Arab boyfriends wouldn’t let them.”

N said there were more than 10 part-time religious schools capable of taking care of the girls, but they were suffering from overload and lack of funds. “We’re collapsing. Hundreds of girls are going through this. Girl falling after girl,” he said.

“It’s a frightening thing, the girls also begin using drugs and alcohol,” said Yaffo activist David Machlouf. “About a year and a half ago I witnessed the shocking case of a 15-year-old girl. This Arab guy hit on her, she became pregnant and got an abortion, He took her to his village and they dressed her up in a galabiya (Arab Dress) but everyone treated her horrifically, calling her a Jew-Jew. At some point she complained against him so he beat her up really badly. After that we took her to an organization in Bnei Brak, but later she went back to him again.”

UPDATE: In a statement issued today, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) expressed shock at the racism of the Tel Aviv municipality, as reported in the Ma’ariv article.
Hagai El-Ad, the director of the ACRI, said: “Neither the municipality of Tel Aviv nor any other official body is responsible for ‘racial purity.’ The idea of the municipality interfering in the weaving of romantic connections is inconceivable.”

For further information from the ACRI, contact spokeswoman Nirit Moskowitz.

Phone:                  +972 3 560 8185   +972 3 560 8185           +972 3 560 8185  +972 3 560 8185

  1. To be honest, I am happy about the step they’re taking if only they’re not misusing their intentions on the socially unprivileged girls for radical religious groups’ opinions and aims.
    The idea itself – well I don’t know why the modern journalist of today in order to be “Western” and popular needs to condemn each step towards preservance of tradition, religion and national worldview.
    At the end it’s not the poor Arab boys who lose the game but the Jewish people and those young disoriented girls who throw themselves on the next man possible, often having no parents for an appropriate advice…I mean, cases of drugs, violence, destroyed fates after an intermarriage and, what we all forget, the extremely harsh impact of such mixed identities on children growing up in Israel and being born to such marriages…. Isn’t it obvious enough? What harm it does?

    I am happy for that my government is caring for the needs and such demands of our people. We were waiting a long time for such. The only dear I have is that it might be misused and that force will be used where it can be called a diminishing of another person’s freedom. As long as it is prevention, guideance, it is not diminishing freedom.

    By the way, “Yad le’achim” is not radical. Is there any evidence of in how far it is radical? It’s not western style, that’s right. In Israel, other things count than the “absolute freedom” as the absolute god.

  2. human

    February 25, 2010 at 18:43 |

    Reply | Quote

    isralike, the fact that you see nothing wrong with blatant segregation is scary.

  3. christian zionist

    February 25, 2010 at 22:09 | #3

    Reply | Quote

    I’m all envious of Israel. If only the US had the guts to do the same like in the good ol’ times! Now you can see those poor little white girls dating black studs all over the Bible Belt…

  4. YBD

    February 26, 2010 at 09:37 | #4

    Reply | Quote

    Islam allows Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women. However, it absolutely forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. This is the cause of many of the all-too-commmon “family honor killings” we see among Arabs in Israel and throughout the rest of the Arab/Muslim world. Now, if you believe this counseling to prevent Jewish girls from getting involved with non-Jewish men is “racist” (Judaism opposes intermarriage, but is not “racist” since any sincere person can convert), the the Arabs/Muslims are also racist, but that, of course, is not mentioned in this article.

  5. Nate

    February 26, 2010 at 18:39 | #5

    Reply | Quote

    YBD: All of you here so far, with the exception of human are unabashed racists. Most notably christian zionist, who sounds like a KKK member and is quite envious of israel for some strange reason. Some muslims are racists, some jews are racists, some christians are racists, this is because muslims and jews and christians are exactly alike, as human beings. However, you are just assuming that muslims are constantly committing honor killings, which is balony. Honor killings do happen all over the world, not just among muslims, and they are ancient tribal practices which have little if anything to do with any religion. Muslims are constantly demonized these days, people talk about how they don’t value life, how they don’t love their children, how they hate jews for no reason whatsoever, how they commit honor killings all the time, and these things are just racist myths with no basis in reality. No one in their right mind would applaud paramilitary gangs roaming through tel aviv intimidating mixed couples, unless they were racist to the core. Would you applaud gangs of skin heads going around intimidating white girls because they are walking next to an african american?

  1. February 24, 2010 at 14:24 | #1

    Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to prevent Arab boys from … – Dating Tips and Tricks

  2. February 24, 2010 at 17:58 | #2

    Tel Aviv: “Stick to Your Own Kind, Stay With Your Own Kind…” « Shalom Rav

  3. February 24, 2010 at 23:38 | #3

    Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to prevent Arab boys from dating Jewish girls – Blog Post

  4. February 25, 2010 at 02:42 | #4

    Tel Aviv presents: Municipal program to stop Jewish girls dating Arab boys « Dimi’s notes

  5. February 25, 2010 at 05:06 | #5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *