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Israeli citizens are divided by law into 12 religious groups. Each person is born into his own group: The Jew whose mother is Jewish is subject to the tyranny of the rabbis, the Muslim to that of the kadis, and the Druze have their own religious leaders, as do the Christians, the Armenians and all the others. And they cannot marry one another, since Israel has no civil marriage. This entire arrangement of no civil marriage, in a country that pretends to be democratic, came into the world only in order to preserve the purity of the Jewish genius.

It's true, according to religious sources, that at the time when our nation lived on its land, when it became assimilated, it was assimilated, and this was not questioned, and anyone who invalidated another was actually accusing him of his own defect. But that was when there was wisdom and the leadership understood that a minority is assimilated into a majority - into its language, into its culture.

On the other hand, here we have to satisfy the inclinations of the religious parties. Therefore, in 1970, then prime minister Golda Meir and justice minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira anchored in law an amendment stipulating that although the right of return would also be granted to the son and grandson of a Jew and to his/her spouse (apparently for demographic reasons), a "Jew" according to their definition was "someone who was born to a Jewish mother, or who converted and is not a member of another religion."

In Israel there are over 300,000 men and women whose mothers are not Jewish and who are not willing to be "reborn," with a new name, by means of a conversion process that forces them to accept cult laws that are foreign to them, to send their children to ultra-Orthodox institutions and to live under rabbinical supervision.

Now the justice minister has come along and, together with the chief rabbi, has decided to establish a new, separate group of gentiles, who are allowed to marry one another as long as they don't marry a Jewish man or woman, God forbid. That is the salvation they are being offered.

That is how the purity of Judaism, which is preserved under the watchful eye of the religious establishment and the justice minister, is preventing some of the citizens of this country and their children from assimilating among the citizens of the state who have Jewish mothers. It's true that they'll attend the same educational institutions, will study Hebrew and Bible and history - but they will not be allowed to marry "kosher" Jews, because we are the Chosen People, holy seed.

In effect the proposal of the justice minister, who believes it is liberal, was meant to give a donkey's burial to the agreement reached on the issue of "rishum hazugiyut" (registration of people living as couples) as a way of overcoming the failure to provide the right to marry in a civil marriage. This process enables people who love each other and who are not members of the same religion or group, as well as secular people, to start a family whose rights will be recognized by the government and the public. Now the minister and his friend the rabbi are establishing a separate group of religion-less people, and this disgrace is directed first and foremost at immigrants from the former Soviet Union; it's no wonder that people are beginning to organize to oppose it. And, in fact, the time has come for the citizens, the press and all the media to wake up and do something to save democracy and to prevent racism, which must be eliminated from the world.

I was astonished to read that some people see the establishment of a "sect of secular people," whose members are permitted only to one another and not to anyone from the outside, as a first step to civil marriage for all: That is not the case. Here they have buried civil marriage as well as the idea of registering couples. Apparently this proposal suits a society of messianists, who are longing to return to the days of Yehoshua bin Nun, when it comes to the occupation of the land, and a return to the times of the Temple and the sacrifices. All these people will probably get what they want. After all, it was their rabbis who ruled that one should not assimilate among the other nations: "... then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them" (alternatively: "nor allow them to dwell among you") (Deuteronomy 7:2).