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Israel's ethnic purity police presents: Anti-assimilation for men

In its ongoing efforts to save every Jewish soul, anti-assimilation group Yad L’Achim has broadened its offerings and is now extending its marriage-wrecking service to Jewish men in relationships with non-Jewish women. 

A soldier shows his support as Michael Ben Ari, leader of Otzma Yehudit nationalist party is accompanied by Benzi Gopstein, head of the anti-miscegenation group Lehava, to walk in Jerusalem's Mahane Yeיuda market during an election campaign, January 16, 2015. Otzma Yehudit, meaning "Jewish strength," which failed to make the Knesset at the last elections, advocates for transferring Palestinians out of Israel and the West Bank.

A soldier shows his support as Michael Ben Ari, leader of the Otzma Yehudit nationalist party walks through Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market during an election campaign, January 16, 2015. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Israeli anti-miscegenation group Yad L’Achim took a step towards equality last week when it announced via its website that it had rolled out its anti-assimilation “rescue” service to Jewish men in relationships with non-Jewish women.

A more established counterpart to Lehava‘s goon squads, Yad L’Achim is also known for harassing Messianic Jews as part of its anti-assimilation efforts.

Like Lehava, Yad L’Achim has traditionally focused on preventing relationships between Jewish women and non-Jewish men, particularly Palestinians. Indeed, the project to maintain ethnic purity — which has benefitted from taxpayers’ money — is one of the few areas in which women are a higher priority than men; after all, a woman’s body is clearly far too precious a national resource for her to be trusted to know what to do with it.

But now Yad L’Achim has appointed itself the task of invading the bedrooms of Jewish men intending to marry non-Jewish women as well. According to the edifying story provided on its website, the organization dispatched one of its august rabbis, Yoav Zeev Robinson, on a mission to break up a relationship between a young Jewish man and his wife-to-be, who the prospective groom had recently discovered was not halakhically Jewish. (She had been adopted by Jewish parents but had never formally converted, rendering her a gentile in the eyes of the rabbinate.)

The young man had initially resisted calls to break off the engagement. According to Yad L’Achim, however, once he was shown a few photos of the rabbi’s forefathers, he realized — with some coaxing from the rabbi himself — that his own forefathers might be disappointed at his marrying a non-Jew, and announced that he would be canceling the wedding.

Mission accomplished. Whether the story is true or not, the message is clear: Yad L’Achim is expanding the scope of whose lives they’re tasking themselves with trying to destroy — sorry, save.

But there is one glaring absence from the marriage-wrecking catalog of Yad L’Achim, Lehava, Hemla and their ilk. There’s much talk of Jewish women in relationships with non-Jewish men and vice-versa, but what about LGBT Jews who may enter relationships with non-Jews?

Don’t we deserve the right to have our lives destroyed by the quasi-fascist racial purity police too? Isn’t Israel supposed to be famed for the equal opportunities it affords to the LGBT community? We know that these organizations and the individuals that think like them don’t adopt the “there’s no such thing as homosexuality” line; their insistence on turning up at pride parades is testament to that.

Perhaps they feel that queer Jews are beyond saving. But then again, Deputy Minister of Defense Eli Dahan — no stranger to ruminating on the finer points of ethnic hierarchies — did once remark that the soul of a gay Jew is more valuable than that of a straight gentile.

It’s all terribly confusing. Benzi, Eli, Yoav and co. — you have some explaining to do. But if you’re genuinely trying to be equal opportunities offenders, you’re doing a pretty poor job of it.

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    1. Czar

      I wonder when the 972 Mag is going to do a story on Arabs murdering their daughters/sisters in order to prevent them from marrying non-Muslim men? Have you heard of honor killings? Your writers claim to be concerned with human rights, don’t they? After all, Lehava and Yad L’Achim don’t kill anyone, they just have ideas that some folks happen to disagree with. What is a more pressing issue? Where are your priorities? You have a certain understanding of human rights, are willing to put your money where your mouth is? Or are you simply trying to embarrass the Jews with articles like this?

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        When will people understand that the issue of human rights in Israel isn’t a question of determining which ethnic group is more awful, and it isn’t a question of comparing Israel with Rwanda, that we’re having a discussion about Israel and not North Korea?

        Reply to Comment
        • Czar

          Bruce Gould, I did not call either ethnic group “awful”, and I did not compare Israel to any other countries. I simply asked why the +972 Magazine does not cover the topic of honor killings by Arabs and Muslims and I pointed out that this issue is much more pressing than anything Yad L’Achim and Lehava do or don’t do according to the author. If you are for some mysterious reason more interested in the human rights situation in Israel and as opposed to, let’s say, the half a million dead Syrians next door, then honor killings by Arabs and Muslims IN ISRAEL should surely be at the top of your agenda. However, I have a hunch that you and the people who share your way of thinking are not necessarily interested in Arabs and Muslims as perpetrators of horrific atrocities. You are much more comfortable with the idea of Jews in that role. And not necessarily because of what they do, but because of who they are.

          Reply to Comment
      • Czar

        Ben, this is talking about sexual violence in very vague terms. I was talking about a specific problem of honor killing, especially when it comes to Muslim women being or suspected of being involved with non-Muslim men. The +972 Magazine authors seem to be very concerned about Jewish organizations that oppose intermarriage, while completely ignoring the issue of Arab and Muslim women being murdered to prevent them from marrying out. All this while claiming to be the champions of human rights.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Czar, is there a large, established Israeli organization that runs around burning churches, calling Christians vampires that need to be expelled, beating up Jews in the streets, obnoxiously picketing ad threatening Arab-Jewish weddings, publicly warning about the dangers to the purity of Arab women that Jewish men pose, handing out pamphlets to that effect, coupled with a prime minister who darkly warns on Election Day “Jews are coming to the polls in droves”? And a governor of the territories who advises that a gay Arab is higher on the human scale than a straight Jew? Do they have black and red and green t-shirts they they wear to rallies and then strip off and melt into the crowd after they beat up Jews seen talking to Arab women? And do the Israel police make no serious efforts to pursue these “activists”? Just wondering. If there is, then I agree that +972 is missing something. Do get back to us.

          Reply to Comment
          • Czar

            Ben, your rant is a PERFECT example of the never ending hypocrisy and mental delusions that people suffer from when it comes to the Jewish people. First of all, you have utterly failed to address the point I have made about the +972 Magazine paying no attention to Arab and Muslim women being MURDERED for any attempt or SUSPICION of being involved with non-Muslim men. Do you understand that they are MURDERED? I understand that someone with the warped progressive system of values would be offended by anyone who makes statements against intermarriage, but SURELY, it cannot be as bad as MURDERING someone? What is Yad L’Achim’s and Lehava’s deathtoll? Do get back to us on that. Second, if your only source of information about the work that Yad L’Achim and Lehava do is the +972 Magazine and other progressive outfits, then I suggest you find a hobby other than picking on the Jews. Here’s a small example of what Yad L’Achim actually does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7adOloAzLs Surely, a self-proclaimed human rights activist would not object to rescuing a mother and her eight children, would they? Third, Yad L’Achim and Lehava NEVER talk about ethnic purity. That is how the progressives systematically misconstrue their true objectives. Also, this is an insidious attempt to compare the Jews to nazis. Anyone, including Arabs and Muslims can convert to Judaism and then legitimately marry Jews and Yad L’Achim and Lehava would have no objections to the marriage whatsoever. There is absolutely no requirement for racial and ethnic purity of any kind.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You’re doing some dishonest things here. The problem of honor killings in Palestinian society is overwhelmingly about a backwards, primitive (and actually more pagan, pre-Islamic) attempt to control female sexuality, period–to control “immoral (female) sexual behavior” and “adultery.” It is not about controlling involvement with non-Muslims. You’re twisting this to make it about some kind of anti-Jewish discrimination. Secondly, I used the word “purity.” You doctored that to “racial and ethnic purity.” Who then is focused on race and ethnicity, you or me? You have utterly failed to address the larger sociopolitical context in which Lehava operates, context that I put back in, and that you have stripped out in order to make some narrow anti-(Arab)Semitic point that you are intent on making rather than face up to the main point of Natasha Roth’s article. Thirdly, you pull the standard half-accusation, half-insinuation that any criticism of Israel is “picking on Jews.” That’s dishonest. And it’s a kind of anti-Semitism: it merges the current Israeli government and organizations like Lehava with “the Jews.” As if Jews monolithically think one way and adhere to one political persuasion.

            All that aside, if you think Lehava is not a reprehensible organization then you and I have nothing to talk about because you’ll defend things I don’t think are defensible and I have a hard time understanding why you would come to +972 in the first place. I don’t feel the need to go to Lehava’s website and defend +972 and tell Gopstein admirers why I think they suffer from never ending hypocrisy and mental delusions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Czar, why didn’t we think of this? You just need to get the Government Office of Hasbara to put out a flash bulletin. I can just see the headlines:

            “Netanyahu reveals that all along the occupation was a secret 50-year plan to prevent Arab honor killings in the West Bank and Gaza. ‘We just had to do it, we care so much,’ Bibi says, with Sara by his side. Of all the tikun olamers, we are the tikun olamest. And we will continue this fight on behalf of Arab women for 50 more years. A painful so painful sacrifice we make. A feminist light unto the nations. And gay people too! A pink feminist light. Go Israel rah rah rah.”

            “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton respond with joy to Netanyahu’s stunning announcement. ‘We are immediately sending Israel seven billion dollars to sustain this pink/feminist project, tikun olam, baby,’ they say. ‘And we are immediately moving our embassy to eternally united honor killing free Jerusalem!'”

            Reply to Comment
      • Czar

        Ben, you’re missing the point again. Read above. Though, I have to say I found the article a bit amusing. The Arabs who are allegedly oppressed by Israel are protesting the lack of involvement in their communities by the very society that allegedly oppresses them. And it goes without mention that they are not doing any self-reflection when it comes to their cultural depravity.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          I’m missing neither the point nor what your true aim is here. One part Ashkenazi racist contempt and one part demonization. Mix and serve. Your last sentence it seems to me applies to you very well. That’s the irony. But do see my reply to you, above. The one that ends with “Do get back to us.”

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          I’m missing neither the point nor what your true aim is here. (Which is one part Ashkenazi racist contempt, one part demonization, and one part prurience. Your last sentence aptly applies to yourself, an irony lost on you.) See my reply to you, the one that ends with “Do get back to us.”

          Reply to Comment