Anti-Arab demonstration in Bat Yam Dec. 20, 2010 (Daniel Bar-On)
Anti-Arab demonstration in Bat Yam, December 20, 2010 Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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A letter urging Jewish women not to date non-Jewish men has been published by a group of rabbis' wives. The letter comes on the heels of a rabbis' letter published earlier this month urging Jews not to sell or rent properties to non-Jews.

The new letter, signed by 30 rabbis' wives, says, "For your sake, for the sake of future generations, and so you don't undergo horrible suffering, we turn to you with a request, a plea, a prayer. Don't date non-Jews, don't work at places that non-Jews frequent, and don't do national service with non-Jews."

The letter was organized by the organization Lehava, which claims to "save daughters of Israel" from what it calls assimilation. Lehava also took part in the recent demonstrations against selling or renting homes to non-Jews.

The group operates a shelter for women who leave their Arab partners and educate the public on what it calls the dangers that arise from contact between Jews and Arabs. The organization also called for the boycott of the Gush Etzion branch of the supermarket Rami Levi, where Arab and Jewish workers are on shift side-by-side.

In the last few weeks, Bentzi Gopstein of Kiryat Arba, the director of Lehava, convinced the wives of important rabbis in the religious Zionist movement to sign on to the letter. Among the signatories were Netzhiya Yosef, wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, Esther Lior, wife of Rabbi Dov Lior, Shulamit Melamed of Beit Alon and Starna Druckman of Kiryat Motzkin.

The rabbis' wives letter claims to alert its readers to the phenomenon of Arabs who go by Jewish nicknames, claiming that they are kind and gentle until they can isolate a Jewish woman, whereupon they beat and humiliate her and do not allow her to escape.

In its attempt to appeal to Jewish women, the letter states that they descend from a noble race of kings, and that dating a non-Jew would thereby cut her off from her Jewish family.