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Friday, September 4, 2009

An idiotic initiative: Jews inform on Jews

The Jewish Agency and the Israel Prime Minister's Office(!) has unbelievably launched a clumsy campaign to "rescue" Jews from intermarriage. It invites people to "inform" on friends who might, HEAVEN FORFEND, be intending to marry a non-Jew:
A day after mounting a scare-tactic campaign to prevent the assimilation of Diaspora Jews, the Prime Minister's Office and Jewish Agency received some 200 calls, most of them reporting names of Jews living abroad.
However, many callers also blasted the campaign - which describes assimilation as a "strategic national threat."
The campaign, which launched on Wednesday, urges Israelis to report the particulars of acquaintances living abroad so that these people, who are "in danger" of marrying non-Jews, can be persuaded to come to Israel.
The 10-day Hebrew-language campaign has been mounted by MASA, a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government that helps finance and market Israel programs for Diaspora Jews.
"We wanted to raise a public debate, even if it arouses argument and emotions," MASA's CEO Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir said Thursday.
"More than 50 percent of young Jews assimilate," the TV commercial informs viewers through the voice of Ayala Hasson, a top reporter for Channel 1. "We are losing them," she adds, as soft, melancholy music is played on a flute in the background.
The 33-second clip features images of missing-person posters hanging in locales in Europe and North America. The posters, in English, French and Russian, are of young people with Jewish-sounding names.
The ad then asks anyone who "knows a young Jew living abroad" to call MASA. "Together, we will strengthen his or her bond to Israel, so that we don't lose them," the announcer concludes.
We can hear the phone calls now, "I saw my nephew Sheldon with a blonde girl last week. She didn't look Jewish at all. You need to investigate, " "My niece is dating a Schwartzer! (black person). A Shandeh! (shame), Better come quick before it is too late."
What a way to render the image of Jews and of Israel totally absurd! Ziopedia and Stormfront could not have thought up something this ridiculous. How will they follow up on the leads? Will Zionist morality police bring trained dogs to go sniffing about in people's bedrooms? Are we supposed to report only those who are in danger of marrying non-Jews, or also those who are "in danger" of marrying reform Jews?
There is good news too in this report. Evidently, the Israeli economy is doing fine, our relations with the United States are excellent, the Iranian threat is under control, peace with the Palestinians is just around the corner, and Israel's image in the world has never been better. That is the only explanation for why the Prime Minister's office is worried about who Morris from Waukegan and Rachel from Manchester are dating next Friday.
In the old days, Woody Allen could have made a great movie out of this. He is out with the girl of his dreams (played by the latest version of Annie Hall). He is meeting her parents and their friends in a garden party. Suddenly a helicopter lands on the lawn. A squad of IDF soldiers steps out and sweep him off to Israel. Or, in the fantasy version, a pious devotee of the Kabbalah writes the holy name on his forehead and instantly turns him into a Hassidic Jew with ear locks and fine fur hat. The marriage, obviously, is off.
Ami Isseroff

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