Israeli gov’t warns Israelis in U.S. not to marry Americans but come home

Philip Weiss found this: an Israeli government advertising campaign that’s sure to alienate a lot of American Jews.

The series of ads includes one that shows the look of dread on the faces of Israeli grandparents when they hear their grand daughter say she’ll be celebrating Christmas. I happen to live in a part of the U.S. where “We still celebrate Christmas” is a popular bumper sticker. No doubt the people who want to send out that message feel threatened by separation of Church and State and also the cultural threat they perceive from secularization. But I also imagine a lot of them would call themselves Christian Zionists, so I wonder how they’d react to the Israeli government portraying Christmas celebrations as a threat to Zionism.

Wow this is great reporting at the Jewish Channel. They focus on the ad campaign sponsored by the Israeli gov’t (which we mentioned last week) which is aimed at getting back all the Israelis who have moved to the United States–as many as 2 million!

Watch the ads from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, between :25 and 2:40 — they’re cute, mostly, and in Hebrew, so I’m counting on the Jewish Channel’s translation. In one a dad doesn’t wake up when is son says Daddy over and over again, then he does wake up when the kid says “Abba.” The Israeli gov’t’s message: “They will always remain Israelis. Their children will not. Help them to return to Israel.”

Then there’s another one in which Israeli grandparents’ faces fall when their grandchild says on Skype that she’s celebrating Christmas.

The third ad is the craziest/most interesting. It suggests, says the Jewish Channel’s anchor, that “marrying American Jews could make Israelis lose their sense of identity.”

Some of the commenters at Mondoweiss say TJC gets the interpretation wrong for the third video and say the message from Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption points to the threat to Israeli identity posed by non-Jews. Weiss thus hedges on that point by saying “Americans” in the headline.

Here are the videos whose message is fairly self evident even for those of us who don’t understand Hebrew. In the viewer comments under the dangers-of-marriage video, someone wrote (and this is just a paraphrase): American Jews need to be aware that in Israel, the Jewish connection only goes so far.

It appears that the Israeli ministry is busy keeping the comment threads “clean” since that particular comment has been removed.

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8 thoughts on “Israeli gov’t warns Israelis in U.S. not to marry Americans but come home

  1. kate be

    This may be slightly off topic but I noticed at the end of the 10 minute video, there were shown many different channels that offered TJC, including comcast cable. I live in Pittsburgh and have comcast but they refuse to offer Al Jazeera, even though viewers request it.

    Is this not blatant hypocrisy/discrimination?

  2. Norman

    Just an outside observer here, but why would any American Jew want to go to Israel to live when it’s run by a bunch of mad men? Here in the U.S., they have peace, choice, don’t live under the fear of perhaps being blown up or murdered by one of their own. The nonsense is guilt play. I’ve read that the young that would if they could, move out of Israel. This is the 21st century, who wants to carry an uzi when they leave the house, have to fight & kill, perhaps their own next door neighbors?

  3. deborah

    Amazing! My grandfather was a Spaniard who happened to be Jewish, when me married my Hopi indian grandmother he gave himself to her. She was the queen; her word was final in ALL matters. The wrath of grandfather was quick and swift…he loved her so much. He died in her arms…the love of his life.
    Grandfather was a very quite man; I have read books my whole life so even as a little child my head was always in the books. I recall fondly of him walking up to me, he said, “hija, I see you reading all the time…I want you to remember this…question everything, just because it is in a book does not make it true.” My whole life I have done just that, because my grandfather told me so.
    I was lucky to have such wonderful grandparents…they were my gift.

  4. Mr. Mojo

    Imagine the response if the US or any other country warned it’s citizens not to marry Israelis?

    Answer: Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite!
    Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite!

  5. Shlomo the Homo

    Let me guess if you mention this as being racist and a part of the zionist racist apartheid religion you’ll be called an “anti-sem….”

  6. ja

    Norman – you must still be living in – the old USA of the previous century.
    Israel is a microcosm of the USA – same-o-same-o ROTs ruining the world.

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