Poster Calling to Boycott Stores Where Arabs Work With Jewish Women Spotted in Jerusalem

Campaign by right-wing group Lehava aims to prevent intimate relationships between Jews and Arabs.

Adi Dovrat-Meseritz
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Adi Dovrat-Meseritz

"Do you want your grandson to be named Ahmed ben Sarah?" a street poster slapped on the walls of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods inquires, in a not-so-subtle dig at the Yesh retail chain.

The problem the authors of the broadside (pashkevil, in Hebrew ) have is that Yesh, the Haredi arm of the Super-Sol supermarket chain, allows Arab men to work alongside Jewish women.

Certificate distributed by anti-Arab organization Lehava to announce that a business only hires Jews.Credit: Haaretz

The poster features the Yesh logo next to a photograph of two employees chatting - or as the poster puts it, "An Arab man courting a daughter of Israel at the Givat Shaul branch."

TheMarker has discovered that the organization behind the pashkevil is Lehava, a Hebrew acronym for "Preventing Assimilation in the Holy Land." (Don't confuse it with the Finance Ministry division called Lehava, which is devoted to narrowing digital gaps in Israeli society. )

"One of the biggest problems today is that Jewish employees at retail chains are assimilating with Arab employees," said Bentzi Gupstein, one of the anti-assimilation group's leaders. "Just two weeks ago a Jewish woman working at a branch of Shefa Shuk in Jerusalem left a Haredi home and went to live with an Arab employee she'd met at the store."

"We are publicizing the problem to make people understand that there is a problem, and to encourage people to buy from places that hire Jewish labor. The posters influence the Haredi community," Gupstein added.

As part of its efforts to prevent any romantic ties between Jewish women and Arab men, Lehava launched riots in Safed and Afula, and demonstrations in Bat Yam and the south Tel Aviv neighborhood of Hatikva.

Super-Sol issued a statement saying the Yesh chain condemns all violent and harmful acts against any sector.

"We will continue to serve all sectors and communities, and are glad to employ thousands of people from all parts of society," the chain said.