Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time for JDate in Arabic?

This article about men from Arab countries writing to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeking Jewish-Israeli women for marriage was amusing; the bit about offering a herd of camels as a dowry was particularly cute.

The bit about the camels also highlights something much deeper about this story: that this man in question thought that someone in Israel would really want the camels. Of course, this man was offering what he had, what he considers wealth, but it indicates that there is a deficit of understanding in parts of the Arab world about Israel.

Jewish Israeli women, with the obvious exception of the orthodox, tend to be secular, and not much different from women in the west. So, when a man suggests that his Israeli wife will fit in well with the rest of his wives, it is clear that he doesn't understand that joining a harem, is probably not the desired endgame for most Israeli women. On the other hand, who knows what women really want!?

Another interesting point is that these men are writing to the Arab media department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is at least an indication that whatever is being put out by this department in the Arabic world, is being viewed and responded to. Activity which can build some sort of connection, or dialogue between the ordinary people in Israel and the Arab world should be welcomed and encouraged. An interesting article about the activities of this department (which may be a good subject for another post) is here.