A race to generate Jews, courtesy of the Israeli government
For the past few weeks, radio spots have been urging Israel’s non-Jewish citizens to register for an accelerated conversion process.
For the past few weeks, radio spots have been urging the country’s non-Jewish citizens to register for an accelerated conversion process. Once an hour, just before the news, an ad is aired in which a woman, her voice verging on ecstatic, describes the light, user-friendly new conversion process she underwent. She concludes with the truly important news: She is now Jewish and married, or married and Jewish − although it’s not clear which of the two thrills her more. Both, apparently, are a high for her: not just the realization of a dream, but the fulfillment of a mission.
The underlying goal here? To flood the country with Jews. The means: use of the slogan “achievable conversion.” But why does this even matter? Every means to the end is acceptable, including cheapening the loaded phrase “achievable housing,” which has value and meaning for a large proportion of this country’s citizens. Well, the Prime Minister’s Office, which sponsors the advertisement, has both bad news and good news for those citizens. We will start, conventionally, with the good news: Soon we will have a vast, happy army of brand-new Jews. And the bad news: They won’t be able to afford a home, either.
Under the influence of Habayit Hayehudi, the government has launched a race to generate Jews. MK Ayelet Shaked likes to talk about the country’s unique character as a type of armor, but what she’s really getting at is protective, human armor with a Jewish hue, which will shield her against all those who are not like her. All this racism is compressed into a two-minute public-service ad, which is supposedly light and positive but in truth embodies the essence of everything that’s rotten about the government’s priorities. The rot is not achievable per se, since it was already achieved long ago. Now it is also being celebrated.