Eli Askuzido
Eli Askuzido David Hochberg

The Reform Center for Religion and State, together with the Coalition Against Racism is demanding that the Nahal Sorek Regional Council not participate in a conference aimed at curbing intermarriage between Jews and Arabs.

The conference will take place on Tuesday in Yad Binyamin, and is aimed at women educators. The event was organized by the Torat Hayim Yeshiva, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Tal.

The Reform representatives sent a letter to the head of the Nahal Sorek Council, Eli Askuzido, in which they wrote that "the council logo appears on the lower left side of the invitation to the conference, and at the bottom of the invitation there are also logos of Yad L’Achim, Shvuyot, and Hidabroot.”

"This is a conference which, under a legitimate guise of preventing the assimilation of Jewish girls with minorities, promotes racist, offensive and inflammatory messages directed at the Arab public," claimed the Reform Center and Coalition.

"The purpose of the conference is to create the impression of an acute and widespread social problem, whereby Arabs supposedly entice Jewish girls ... to enter into a romantic relationship with them, ending in a wedding after which the fate of the Jewish girls is always bad and bitter."

They also claimed that the conference rested upon a racist discourse, asserting that it "deals with incitement against mixed couples and against Arab men."

They demanded that council head Eli Askuzido not participate in the event, calling on him “to instruct the Nahal Sorek Regional Council to immediately withdraw its support from the conference, including by stopping all funding as much as possible for the conference," and "to refrain from attending the conference and refrain from sending another representative on behalf of the Council.”