Hakak, Yohai. “Undesirable Relationships’ between Jewish Women and Arab Men: Representation and Discourse in Contemporary Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).
Demography has been broadly considered as a key aspect of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. On the Jewish side, State intervention to encourage Jewish immigration and Jewish births is well known. Much less known are the efforts to discourage inter-faith relations. These ‘problematic relationships’ between Arab men and Jewish women from low socio-economic backgrounds have become a high priority item in public discussions over the last decade. In this article I will explore the main discursive practices used in this heated debate by those opposing these relationships. ‘Moral panic’ as a theoretical framework will help me analyse the ways in which Jewish women and Arab men who engage in such relations are presented. As I will show, attempts to criminalize and vilify Arab men meet with strong opposition. Presenting Jewish women as weak and passive victims seems as a more successful strategy, especially when done by professionals from the psych-professions.