Recent actions by Israel's religious and right-wing communities have challenged the rights of the country's growing Arab minority.
A group of rabbis' wives penned a letter Dec. 29 urging Jewish women "not to date Arab men, not to work in places where Arabs are employed and not to volunteer for national service with them," the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
The rebbetzins' letter states, "There are quite a few Arab workers who give themselves Hebrew names.... They ask to be close to you, try to find favor with you, and give you all the attention in world, they are actually here knowing to act with courtesy, acting as if they really care for you, say a good word, but their behavior is only temporary. The moment you are in their hands, in their village, under their control, everything changes."
"Your life will never go back to the way it was, and the attention you so desired will turn into curses, beatings, and humiliations," the letter warns.
The people responsible for the letter say that its goal is to prevent assimilation and romantic relationships between Jewish women and Arab men, according to Ynet News. The letter was distributed by an organization named Lehava, which works against intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews.
"The problem is religious, not racist. If my son were to decide to marry an Arab woman who converted, I wouldn't have a problem with that," said Bentzi Gopstein, a senior member of Lehava, according to Ynet.
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