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Defending Jewish girls (archives) Photo: Dalit Shacham
Defending Jewish girls (archives) Photo: Dalit Shacham
 
Leaflet handed out on beaches
Leaflet handed out on beaches 
 
 

Jewish group fights beach harassment

Anti-assimilation organization warns girls bathing on Israel's seashores not to be fooled by Arab men posing as Jews

Yair Altman
Published: 07.17.11, 13:08 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Organization for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (Lehava) has decided to start "defending the daughters of Israel" on the country's beaches.

 

According to the organization, many Arab men are posing as Jews, courting and harassing the beautiful women. In response, a "coast guard" aimed at fighting the alleged phenomenon has been set up.

 

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In recent weeks, Lehava members have been handing out dozens of leaflets to Jewish women on the beaches of Bat Yam, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Caesarea and Eilat, asking them to maintain their Jewishness and not to give in to the non-Jewish men's appeals.

 

The organization decided to do something after receiving complaints from many women who claimed to be harassed by non-Jewish men on the beach.

 

"Last year we discovered that there are many gentiles arriving at the beaches, but not in search of the sun or water," said Benzi Gopstein, one of Lehava's leaders.

 

"Due to the multiple complaints," he explained, "we decided to promote a campaign at the start of the bathing season this year in order to prevent situations in which girls discover that the 'Yossi' they are dating is actually 'Yusuf', prevent sexual harassment and assimilation.

 

"The volunteers handing out the leaflets are all seculars, as the religious public only visits segregated beaches, which don't have the Arab problem. We've also started distributing a clip on Facebook and YouTube and we hope the girls will open their eyes."

 

'There are enough Jewish men around'

Gopstein noted that the "coast guard" is also called "The committee for defending girls on beaches across Israel", and that its members are volunteers living in the beach area.

 

He said that the patrol members use convincing methods only. "We turn to the girls with a plea: 'There are enough good Jewish men you can go out with.'"

 

He stressed that "the letter of the rabbis' wives (calling on Jewish girls not to date Arabs) was intended for the religious public. Now we are turning to the secular public and saying that you don't have to be a religious girl in order to marry a Jew, you don't have to be religious in order to want your son to remain Jewish, and its part of the people of Israel's duty to remain Jewish.

 

"At the moment we are operating in several cities, but I believe that following the clips we'll reach other places too."

 

 

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