Sparks fly over poster campaign

A poster campaign by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Netanya that aims to warn Jews against dating non-Jews has raised a red flag among the city's Russian immigrant community, reports Russian community members say the posters appear to be directed against them and constitute racist incitement that may warrant police action. According to the report, ultra-Orthodox Jews recently placed numerous large posters on billboards around the city saying, "God despises licentiousness - A Jew does not go with a non-Jewish woman, a Jewess goes with a Jew. Go home." An unidentified ultra-Orthodox source said the posters were part of a fight against an "epidemic (of mixed relationships) that needs to be stopped." He said the posters were particularly aimed at preventing young Jewish women from going out with Arab men and then "falling into their hands and being unable to escape." He said this was a much more serious phenomenon than most people realized, and that his community was helping many Jewish and even non-Jewish women of Russian origin who had fallen "victim" in this way. But members of the Russian immigrant community have been angered by the posters. City councilor Boris Tzirulnik said that former Russians had contributed and were contributing a great deal to the country, and that there were many Israeli soldiers of Russian origin who were sacrificing their lives for Israel despite not being considered Jewish. He said that Russian immigrants had every right to integrate into society, even if they were not halachically Jewish, and he was considering complaining to police about the posters. "These posters are nothing but incitement and it is prohibited in a democratic country to build propaganda on the basis of incitement," he said.