Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, his wife signed too
Photo: Uzi Barak
After the rabbis' letter called on Jews not to rent apartments to Arabs comes their wives' turn: Twenty-seven prominent rabbis' wives signed a letter distributed by the 'Lehava' organization calling on Jewish women not to date Arabs, work in places where Arabs are employed or volunteer for National Service with them.
Close to 500 religious leaders from all spectrums of Judaism sign petition opposing land sale, rental discrimination
The letter's instigators say that its goal is to prevent assimilation and romantic relationships between Jewish women and Arab men.
The letter's signatories include: Daughter-in-law of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, Nitzhiya Yosef, Rabbanit Esther Lior – the wife of Rabbi Lior from Kiryat Arba, Rabbanit Shlomit Melamed – the wife of Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El, Rabbanit Esther Levanon – the wife of Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh, Rabbanit Starena Druckman – wife of Rabbi Meir Druckman of Kiryat Motzkin and others.
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."
Bentzi Gopstein, a senior member of Lehava and a student of Rabbi Kahane, told Ynet: "It is important to explain that the problem is religious, not racist. If my son were to decide to marry an Arab woman who converted, I wouldn't have a problem with that. My problem is the assimilation that the phenomenon causes."
The Lehava organization was established a year ago and works as a parent organization for many groups operating against inter-marriage between Jews and Arabs. Its roots can be found in Rabbi Kahane's organization 'Yad LeAchayot'.
The organization's members classify it as an a-political organization and say that its activities are mainly informative: "Our focus is information and prevention. We hold conventions where we show films and present lectures about the phenomenon that has been gathering momentum and is extremely problematic mainly in places like Jerusalem, Safed, Bat Yam and Beersheba.
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