MKs clash on assimilation in Israel
Published: 08.02.11, 20:16
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25 Talkbacks for this article
1. Can the MKs get out of our personal lives please?
Israeli   (02.08.11)
who I marry is my decision. MKs are lawmakers which have nothing to do with who we marry, our systems of belief and our personal lives.
2. Jewish & Democratic; where they conflict however, Jewish 1st
Yaawqove ,   Israel   (02.08.11)
Democratic 2nd. Otherwise, the other way of Democratic 1st and Jewish 2nd , the Jewish state and Jewish people will not survive, as we are the smallest of the nations
3. Golda Meir was right
so many with one jewish parent want to be accepted as jews !!! Don't discourage it ....encourage it .
4. #1 youre in Israel for a reason
Yaawqove ,   Israel   (02.08.11)
not in germany, not in yemen. why are we here? answer that you will have saved your children from your indifference.
5. I need to contradict those who think they know
Barbara ,   Haifa Israel   (02.08.11)
The problem here is not who remains Jewish or who marries a Jew or non-Jew. Morality is the problem. So, even if religion or Jewishness was taught in the schools - it wouldn't help. The moral fiber of the country is tenuous / flimsy and even Jews are are giving the country problems - such as the cruel violent nature of its students of late. Something has to be done to give back our PRIDE in the country of Israel.....
6. You lie!
Sergio ,   Malmö, Sweden   (02.09.11)
ML Hotovely NEVER used the term "race". or "mixed-race". Being Jewish or not has NOTHING to do with race, an INVENTED concept of the XVIII Century! Being against assimilation is just being Jewish, not being racist, which has NOTHNG to do with the issue!
7. "Forget you're Jewish? Yes. In Israel"
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (02.09.11)
The subject of this posting was actually found on a poster in the Hillel House at McGill University in the 1970s. I understood the intent, that Israel was a place where "everyone was Jewish" and we were no longer a minority. But still, I found the idea shocking. What we're seeing in recent years is that idea coming to fruition. Where hundreds of thousands coming on "aliyah" were not themselves Jewish. Where many Jews (mostly women) get romantically involved with Arabs. Where untold thousands of illegals have taken over neighborhoods of the "first Hebrew city" (Tel Aviv). And where so many nominal Jews among the "intelligentsia - think the state's creation was a mistake. And where so many Jews know so little about their traditions. Who back then could have imagined this?
8. Wipe out
dave ,   safet israel   (02.09.11)
In another 30 years studies show that only the orthodox will identify themselves as Jewish in the US.. Another stat: Start with seven ultra-orthodox couples. Four generations later they yield 14,000 Jews. The figure for Reform is 0.5
9. What's the hoopla?! In not somany years, the "proper" Jews,
tom ,   tel aviv   (02.09.11)
aka haredim and their like shall make up lions share of this country (whatever remains of it). Then they will be able (in fully democratic way) to tell me where to eat/marry/die. End of dilemma. Time is on their side . Patience dears!
10. Israel is hyjacked by religious fanatics
A. Assayag ,   France   (02.09.11)
Being part of the Jewish people shall have nothing to do with the Judaism. I am Jewish and an atheist. Does it mean that I'm no longer Jewish? What about Ben Gurion who told his father when he was young that he did not believe in God? According to our local fanatics (Hotolevy, Michaeli...) he would not be a Jew. In the 21st century, what makes us Jewish is the fact that we feel that we descend from the ancient Jews who lived in Palestine 2,000 years ago. The Jewish identity is not necessarely religious, it can also be strictly cultural. Pessah for example is celebrated by atheist Jews because it commemorates the liberation of our people from Egypt. Even atheist Jews have a seder. Therefore, the Jewish non-religious culture must be accessible to anyone. Ben Gurion used to say that all those who serve in Tsahal can consider themselves Jewish. This is why non-Russian Jews citizens of Israel deserve to be part of the Jewish people. As long as Israel will refuse to accept the existence of a non-religious Jewish identity, it will remain a primitive state that will fear cultural diversity. It's sad for zionism which used to be secular identity.
11. "Racism"
Gefen ,   USA   (02.09.11)
I'm confused when people use the term "inter-racial marriage" between Jews and Arabs or when people say "Racism against Arabs". Well People, Just a flashback; Jews are the Semitic people originating from middle east as well. Though neither the Ashkanazi Jews nor the Ethiopian Jews may be completely Semitic, but the Mizrahi Jews are. And Mizrahi Jews were 70% of Israeli Jewish population until 1990. Mizrahi Jews or even Christians living in Arab lands were not of a different race, but were of a different religion. In Europe for example, if a German protestant marries an Austrian Catholic, then it's not called as "inter-racial marriage" because both of the couples are of white race. They just happen to be of a different nation and different beliefs. The same goes here in middle east. Just a thought to share....
12. #8 That's BS plenty of seculars in the US send their kids to
hebrew schools and the kids marry other jews. its just not ORTHODOX
13. mixed marriage
David Katz ,   St.Louis   (02.09.11)
Mischling laws in Israel??
14. MK Ben Ari stay out of our lives thankyou
Avi ,   Israel   (02.09.11)
we have a choice of partners and its not for the likes of a biggoted rascist such as Michael Ben Ari to tell people who they can and cannot marry based on his warped and deranged life style. So sorry but theres more to life than swelling the numbers to please Ben Ari and his bunch of rascist thugs.
15. When God chose us to be a light unto all nations,
noa ,   israel   (02.09.11)
I don't think he meant Judaism was an end to itself, but rather a means to deliver a message to the world. If a brother or sister of yours married a nonjew and had children would you disown them? Would you love them less? It's the message we carry. We feel Judaism does it best, but adhering to any religion is not an end in itself.
16. In the 21st century
Mike Carmel ,   Rishon le Zion   (02.09.11)
Is this debate REALLY about inter marriages with Arabs or is it more relevant to marriages with Christians from western countries? What are they more frightened of, these MK's who deem it necessary to discuss Jewish identity after almost 63 years of Israeli statehood? Well, in the 21st century an "enlightened" western democratic state (of the type which Israel aspires to be) should NEVER condition citizenship on one's religious affiliation. If they do then they are inherently racist. Period. All additional arguments as to "who is a Jew" etc are therefore irrelevant in this context.
17. any wonder the best and brightest don't make aliyah?
mike ,   israel (formerly usa   (02.09.11)
the society is spiraling down and it's depressing. there are shortcomings of the system and this only highlights that fact. so gentiles are second class citizens, no news here. the sad part is that you take gentiles out of the equation and the divisions between jewish factions are just as deep, if not deeper. that's not a criticism, just an observation.
18. To#11 That is stupid!
jason white ,   afula,israel   (02.09.11)
The Jews all share the same DNA. It makes no difference if they are from the ME or europe. Someone can say that the Mizrachi have arab blood and are not pure Jews.There were arab converts to Judaism as well as christians. Do not think that if someone lived here for generations, that he or she is 100% pure Jewish. Judaism is a religion and NOT a race!
19. An issue of commitment
rivkah f. ,   jerusalem   (02.09.11)
Today Judaism and Jewish identity are considered one option among many for life styles. The only way to have Jewish continuity is Jewish education, observance and adherence to Jewish values of charity, family, honesty and humility and the study of Torah. This does not necessarily mean Orthodoxy. If one is not committed to the above, being Jewish will not be important. For example, if making money means working on Shabbat and holidays, then it beats out Jewish observance. If having extra-marital affairs is considered all right, it defeats Jewish values. These are only some of the issues. Perhaps, the Knesset is not the proper forum for this discussion.
20. Assimilation is our biggest problem
GS   (02.09.11)
About 80% of young secular Jews in the US marry out. Most of their children, even if their mothers are Jewish, do not receive a good Jewish education or any Jewish education and then themselves will marry out. I know many non-Jews who had a Jewish grandparent yet the third generation has no Jews in it. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and now six million Jews are leaving the Jewish People through the Silent Holocaust. In Israel, most Jews remain in Am Yisrael whether they are religious or not. However, so many non-Jewish immigrants and foreign workers puts this in danger, too.
21. #20
Mike Carmel ,   Rishon le Zion   (02.09.11)
The "silent holocaust"? Are you deluded? Who cares if Jews in America marry people they want to marry and those people aren't Jewish? Does that make them into lesser human beings?
22. Jewish economic politics is to blame: the system is rotten
Brian Cohen ,   Judean Peoples Front   (02.09.11)
The easiest way to see the corruption and disease in organized Judaism in Israel is for a Jewish-identifying but non-orthodox couple who try to get married. Note that both of them probably served in the IDF. First - they have to pay several hundred shekels to open a file, but the haredi guy who registers at the same time gets a big discount because he's in a kollel and never served in the IDF. The non-orthodox couple is mildly upset, but they pay their money. Then they find out that they have to bring witnesses to prove that they are Jewish and are who they are. The haredi guy beside them doesn't have to, because the clerk knows the yeshiva he's in. Ok, say the non-orthodox couple - which evening can the witnesses come in? They can't, of course, because the religious Jews who run the religious councils don't work in the evenings or Friday mornings - thus the witnesses must take time off of work to come to be a witness. The non-orthodox couple is now starting to get very upset, and are then told they have to take family-purity classes before they can get married. Well, both of them are working AND taking university courses. Sorry, they are told, but the religious system doesn't work evenings or Friday mornings, and if you have IDF reserve duty too then they only choice you have is to postpone your wedding date until after you have the certificate that you've taken the courses. Get my drift? The religious system in Israel works AGAINST promoting Judaism. It promotes discrimination and stokes the fires of hatred against organized religion. At the same time the ultra-orthodox are taking hundreds of millions annually in our tax money, they make being a Jew a pain-in-the-butt for many people who otherwise might be attracted. How to change? EASY!!! -everybody pays 18 shekels to open a marriage file -the religious court people work two evenings/week and are open two friday mornings each month. -family purity classes are offered in the evenings and Fridays. -each non-orthodox couple is assigned a shlepper who helps them get their family ketubot, sends religious court clerks to visit the witnesses (instead of forcing the witnesses to miss work/university), and makes sure they see that organized Judaism is a POSITIVE experience. Bad shleppers are FIRED, not simply kept on the payroll. -each non-ortho couple is given a wedding present of candlesticks, challah board and cover, kiddush cup, tallit and tefillion for the husband if he doesn't have, etc etc etc -the shlepper also liases with the closest relevant synagogue to the newlyweds, and helps organize the shabbat chatan, sheva brachot, shabbat kiddush in the couple's honor, etc etc What the reality is, of course, is that young couples look at the cold bureacratic mess that is organized Judaism in Israel and they make the logical decision to fly to Cyprus and get married at a city hall. As a modern orthodox Jew myself, how can I fault them? The system in Israel sucks big time and needs to be changed - that's what the MKs should have been discussing. Instead, they'll pretend they're addressing the issue and later this year will succumb to the annual threats and extortion and hand out hundreds of millions more of our tax shekels to the "guardians of the Torah". We Jews are such 21st century suckers.
23. My two cents' worth
Canadian Otter   (02.09.11)
Although I know next to nothing about Israeli education, here is a small suggestion: If after so many decades there is still a (deliberate?) lack of government interest in instilling Jewish values in secular schools - maybe private organizations could volunteer to fill that vacuum, with school activities, social activities, and more scholarships for schools that stress Jewish values. As far as university education goes, there should be a national movement to boycott anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli professors and to freeze funding for universities that give tenure to such individuals. MK Hotovely is quoted as blaming lack of government investment. She's right but relying on the government to fix cultural issues - when you know that education has been in the grasp of leftists for so long - disempowers you, the people. Take control by directly widening and intensifying your own role in educating youth.
24. For once I agree with you
Larissa   (02.09.11)
25. I am a Jew and an Atheist
Larissa   (02.09.11)
The Nazis and their Ukranian collaborators did not ask my grandmother's cousins what their beliefs about the existence of god are or whether or not they keep kosher before they gunned them down into mass graves. Jewish identity is about culture, ethnicity and heritage, not religion. The state of Israel was founded on (mostly) secular values and it should stay that way. We want Eretz Yisrael, not Iran, thank you very much.
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