TV Report: Bedouins Concerned About Growing Problem of Intermarriage with Jews

January 15, 2012

It isn’t just the Jews who are concerned about intermarriage with Arabs. A hard-hitting documentary on Jewish girls marrying Arab men that aired recently on Israel’s Hot 3 TV station revealed that the Bedouin community also opposes intermarriage.

Reporter Ahmed Abu Swiss noted that the phenomenon is growing at an alarming rate. “We’re no longer talking about 15 or 20 men [who’ve married Jews],” he reported on the program, which aired on Dec. 28, 2011. “There are neighborhoods in which more than 50 men are married to Jews.”

Abu Swiss added that Bedouin sheikhs are very concerned about the trend and speak out against it in the mosques. They preach that assimilation is against the Bedouin tradition and results in many Bedouin women remaining single until 35, since the available men are marrying Jews.

In a similar vein, Sheikh Faiz Abu Seheban, the mayor of the Bedouin town of Rahat, recently spoke out against Arab men marrying Jewish women. He told Ilana Dayan, the host of the hugely popular Uvda investigative news program, that a majority of Arabs viewed these relationships in an unfavorable light and that they were like trying to mix oil and water.