Zuhair Bahlul
Zuhair Bahlulצילום: Flash 90

Arab Knesset members from the Zionist Union and the Joint List would not want their daughters to marry Jews.

In a Channel 12 interview, Knesset Member Zuhair Bahlul (Zionist Union) said that "intermarriage is not recommended, nor do I want my children to be assimilated. I want you to preserve your culture and I'll preserve my culture. As far as I'm concerned, a Jewish son-in-law isn't a good idea."

Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi said his daughter would decide on the matter, but her decision was already clear: "She'll decide, and she'll decide not to go in this direction. I know what she thinks and she told me she'd never marry a Jew."

The Yad L'Achim anti-assimilation organization points out that three years ago, left-wing party heads - the eight senior members of the Labor Party - Haim Ramon, Avraham Burg, Amir Peretz, Yael Dayan, Yossi Beilin, Nawaf Masalha, Hagai Merom and Nissim Zvili were interviewed by Haaretz newspaper, and when asked about their opinion about intermarriage, they all rejected it, apart from Burg.

Nawaf Masalha, who rejected the idea of intermarriage, was quoted as saying: "For Kfar Kara, where I live, students who studied abroad and married European women have returned in recent years, and that almost always ended in failure."

Yossi Beilin, the dominant member of the group, surprised readers when he said, "I would prefer not. You ask me who I am closer and similar to, Yaakov Litzman or Saeb Erekat, and I feel close to both of them. But if you ask me whose grandson I would prefer one of my grandchildren to marry? With those of Litzman."

Hagai Merom was even determined to reject Burg's support for intermarriage. "I want my children and grandchildren to marry Jews, and Avrum, who is a dear friend, went to the furthest edge with his theories. Maybe his next choice would be simply to up and get out of here."

Rabbi Shmuel Lifshitz, one of the heads of the Yad La'achim organization, said that "Neither Arabs nor Jews want assimilation: Assimilation cuts off the branch the Jewish people are sitting on. The practice of preventing assimilation is an internal Jewish matter, and there's nothing racist about it. Claims that this has to do with racism come from the margins of society and the media."

Rabbi Lifshitz added that "the tremendous amount of referrals for help we receive all the time about the failure of such mixed marriages attest to the fact that they are not sustainable."