Afula Deputy Mayor Dr. Boris Yudis:
"The phenomenon of girls aged 12
and 13 who are living in Arab villages
breaks my heart, but to my regret
my hands are tied."
In a revealing interview, the deputy mayor of Afula, a major city in Israel's north, admits that his hands are tied when it comes to dealing with the growing problem of young Jewish girls moving to Arab villages.
"The phenomenon of girls aged 12 and 13 who are living in Arab villages breaks my heart, but to my regret my hands are tied," Dr. Boris Yudis told Index Ha'emek ve'Hagallil, a regional newspaper. "Mothers come to me crying about their young daughters who have moved to these villages. It hurts to hear these stories and frustrating [to not be able to help.] The issue isn't one of Jews and Arabs, but that these girls, instead of studying in school, are wasting their lives.
"This is a sad phenomenon and we haven't managed to deal with its root cause. I don't believe that what we need is stronger law enforcement; instead, we need to work in the area of education."
Yad L'Achim confirmed the existence of the problems cited by Dr. Yudis, adding that its hotline receives calls from all over Israel regarding Jewish girls, as young as 11, who have moved to Arab villages.
Yad L'Achim chairman Harav Yisrael Lifschitz sent a letter of appreciation to Dr. Yudis for raising the painful subject of assimilation and for expressing his willingness to help young Jewish girls. He also asked the deputy mayor to pass on to Yad L'Achim any information he has that can help the organization rescue these girls and rehabilitate them.