In past posts I’ve raised questions about the implications inherent in the establishment of a Jewish state – and the problems that invariably seem to arise in relations with Israel’s non-Jewish citizens and residents.
How do we American Jews react, for instance, when we read that Israel is concerned about a “demographic threat” to the Jewish state? (That is to say, what would we say if our President raised questions about the “demographic threat” of a particular minority group to the “American character” of our country?)
And now: what would we say if an American city funded a campaign to discourage girls from dating or marrying boys from another ethnic group?
From Coteret (an Israeli news/media aggregator):
Maariv reported reported on February 23 that the Tel Aviv municipality launched a “counselling program” to “help” Jewish girls who date and/or marry Arab boys.
Grassroots and governmental campaigning against interfaith mingling is nothing new in Israel…But this is the first time officially sanctioned racism, funded by taxpayers, has come to Tel Aviv, Israel’s liberal heartland.
I’m not asking these questions to “bash Israel.” I’m genuinely concerned by certain realities that seem intrinsic to ethnocracies. If we truly do cherish values inherent to American civil democracy, how do we react to news such as this? Do we simply put these values on the shelf out of our desire for a Jewish state? Or can we understand these kinds of measures in a way that is consonant with our most essential civic beliefs (beliefs, by the way that have been quite kind to the American Jewish community)?
And if not, then how will we respond?