If Israel Deports This half-Thai Child It’s Sick

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Danielle Lev at a demonstration against her possible deportation.
Danielle Lev at a demonstration against her possible deportation.Credit: Moti Milrod

If Israel deports 7-year-old Israeli citizen Danielle Lev with her Thai mother Kultida, the widow of Israeli Shmulik Lev, then Israel is a sick country. If Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked doesn’t use the extensive authority granted her by law in matters of immigration and citizenship to let Kultida remain in Israel, where her Israeli husband is buried, and doesn’t allow her to live and raise her Israeli daughter here, in her daughter and late husband’s homeland and the only language Danielle speaks, then Shaked is sick.

If there is no outcry from the cabinet, both rightists and leftists, then the government is sick. If the Knesset members let the ugly deportation of Danielle and Kultida pass by in silence, then the Israeli legislature is sick. And if His Honor the president doesn’t employ all the weight of his oh-so-dignified authority to stop this disgrace, then Isaac Herzog is sick.

The case isn’t “complex” and there is no “matter of principle” that “we must” consider. This isn’t a step that will trigger “the settling of infiltrators” here – there is no “demographic threat” or “security risk.” There are no excuses this time.

The only thing here is an incurable psycho-political disease. Racial purism. The State of Israel just can’t bear the thought that a single drop of non-Jewish blood will blot the well of our genetic blood. From the state’s perspective, just one drop suffices to poison the well. It turns out that Israeli citizenship is a hollow concept. Only Jewish blood has real validity in Israel.

An Israeli takes a trip to Thailand and meets a local woman who’s a pharmacist. The two fall in love, marry and decide to settle in Israel. They start the whole bureaucratic procedure to obtain citizenship for her, the partner of an Israeli, and while this is underway they have a daughter. An Israeli daughter. When the daughter is nearly a year old, the husband dies of a heart attack – at only 52.

Then the new widow is informed that her naturalization procedure has been halted and she’s being deported (with her daughter, of course, who though she’s Israeli was less than a year old when her father died, so there’s nothing to worry about, she’ll manage in Thailand). Eventually, in a formulation with a sadistic odor, the Interior Ministry informs the bereaved widow: “You were in a naturalization process because of marriage, not because of widowhood.” And it ordered her deported.

Hey, thanks for the clarification. And all this time she thought she married a dead man.

This country, which devoutly follows the artificial falling-in-love stories of the test tube matches on the reality show “Married at First Sight,” lacks the ability to feel empathy for a real couple who fell in love the natural way. If it’s not here in our Jewish ghetto, we aren’t convinced.

It’s impossible not to be disgusted by the racist stench arising from the acceptance of this deportation. Think about the warmth with which we engulf the lone soldiers and bereaved families. Think about all the schmaltz of religious Zionism, and of the Yair Lapids, and the kidney donors who surround Naftali and Gilat Bennett. All this making the world a better place, tikkun olam.

But Kultida is a Thai. And she isn’t being granted this stifling embrace. Because on the bottom line, none of them believe in her love story with Shmulik. Just between us, it was no doubt some Thai massage that went on a little longer. An Israeli child? Nu, really. If it’s not Jewish, it’s not the real thing.

Only a Jewish mother is a mother. Only a Jewish father is a father figure. Only love between Jews is real. And only Jews love their children.

Good God, what has to happen before you wake up? The little girl is named Danielle Lev, for God’s sake. Her father was named Shmulik Lev. Lev, which means heart in Hebrew. Don’t you have any heart?

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