Friday, February 11, 2011

Members of the Knesset were told that more education is needed to combat intermarriage between Jewish women and Arab men

Marriages between Jewish women and Arab men took center stage at a meeting of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women when committee chairwoman Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) hosted a hearing on the subject in honor of Jewish Identity Day in the Knesset. “We must confront the fact that the country has not valued education, which is the only way to prevent Jewish women from forging life connections with non-Jews,” Hotovely said. “The struggle against assimilation only reaches headlines through stories about Jewish women marrying Muslim men, but it is important to remember that the phenomenon is much wider – 92,000 mixed families live in the State of Israel. There is a need to create a curriculum for girls in high schools that deals with Jewish identity. The fact that girls reach a state of intermarriage testifies to the fact that the education system was absent.” Under Israeli law, mixed-religion couples cannot be married in Israel, and thus the women are converted to Islam. But the women do not understand that their children, though Jews according to Halacha, will be registered as Muslim. “It is not racist to oppose intermarriage – marriages between Jewish women and Muslim men are like water and oil,” said Sarit, a Jewish woman who had been married to an Arab man. “It is not racist because they are not bad, but there are differences in mentalities that are impossible to deny.”

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