Culture And Media

Israel: Council warns Jewish girls against romance with Arabs

Kiryat Gat, 1 July (AKI) - A new school programme to prevent Jewish girls from becoming romantically involved with Israeli Bedouin Arabs has started in the town of Kiryat Gat in central Israel.

A report by Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday says that the city's welfare representative, police and council officials, are touring schools with a video called "Sleeping with the Enemy" to educate young women.

The 10-minute film, features a police officer and a woman from the US-based religious organisation, Yad Leachim, which works to prevent Jewish girls from dating Muslims.

The video uses testimonies from young women whose Bedouin boyfriends allegedly did not allow them to return home after ending the relationship.

"The girls, in their innocence, go with the exploitative Arab, the exploitative Bedouin, and she goes to bed with the enemy, which she doesnt know," said Chaim Shalom, who heads the municipality's community, welfare and health department.

"Whoever calls this racism doesn't know what they are talking about, because this isn't a matter of mutual exploitation" said Shalom.

"This is a matter of racism on their (Arabs) end, because they come here to exploit the girl, get rid of her once she gets pregnant and this entire problem becomes a double problem."

It also allegedly uses numerous passages from the Islamic holy book, the Koran, warning Islam's alleged 'danger' to women.

Arab Bedouins, a small minority within the Israeli Arab population, are citizens of Israel and many of them serve in the Israeli Defence Forces.

Nevertheless, local police have endorsed the project.

"Their (Arab) goal is to take advantage of the girls," a police officer said. "There is no element of love or an innocent friendly relationship here."

However, the Mayor of the southern Israeli city of Rahat, Talal al-Krenawi, an Israeli Bedouin, said he also did not support relationships between Jews and Bedouins.

"It hurts our families just like it hurts the Jews. It causes a lot of difficult problems and internal conflicts which often end in violence," he said.

"If there are children as a result of these relationships, it becomes a burden on our society. The difference is that we oppose this just like the Jews, but we never used racist expressions.......a person is allowed to live with whomever he wants. In any case, one can oppose something without presenting racist opinions," concluded al-Krenawi.




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