The Israeli government has launched a television and Internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.
The advertisements, employing what the Israeli media described as “scare tactics,” are designed to stop assimilation through intermarriage among young Diaspora Jews by encouraging their move to Israel.
The campaign, which cost $800,000, was created in response to reports that half of all Jews outside Israel marry non-Jews. It is just one of several initiatives by the Israeli state and private organizations to try to increase the size of Israel’s Jewish population.
According to one ad, voiced over by one of the country’s leading news anchors, assimilation is “a strategic national threat,” warning: “More than 50 percent of Diaspora youth assimilate and are lost to us.” (…)
According to the campaign’s organizers, more than 200 Israelis rang a hot line to report names of Jews living abroad after the first TV advertisement was run on Wednesday. Callers left details of e-mail addresses and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The 30-second clip featured a series of missing-persons posters on street corners, in subways and on telephone boxes showing images of Jewish youths above the word “Lost” in different languages. A voiceover asks anyone who “knows a young Jew living abroad” to call the hot line: “Together, we will strengthen their connection to Israel, so that we don’t lose them.”
Here’s the ad (in Hebrew, without subtitles):
If I didn’t already know what the ad was about, I’d assume something pretty nasty was happening to these “missing” young people. Instead, they’re choosing to live their lives as they see fit, unconstrained by stupid and bigoted notions of racial purity and national loyalty.