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ISRAEL: Nationalist group urges model Bar Refaeli to marry Jewish, dump Leo DiCaprio

Rumored wedding bells for Bar Refaeli and Leonardo DiCaprio may ring true or false, but these are already being muffled by controversy. 

Israel-bar-refaeli-getty Supermodel Bar Refaeli is one of Israel's most successful "exports." But with fame comes responsibility -- and now an Israeli organization is beseeching Refaeli not to wed Leonardo DiCaprio -- out of a responsibility to future generations.

"It is not by chance that you were born Jewish," wrote Baruch Marzel in a letter he sent Refaeli through her mother (and that  promptly appeared in the press). "Your grandmother and her grandmother did not dream that one of their descendants would one day remove the family's future generations from the Jewish people. Assimilation has forever been one of the enemies of the Jewish people."

Marzel, a well-known stalwart among Israel's ultra-nationalists, appealed to Refaeli on behalf of an organization named "Lehava." In Hebrew, this means "flame:; it is also the Hebrew acronym for "Preventing Assimilation in the Holy Land."

The organization, according to its Facebook page (in Hebrew) provides assistance to Jewish girls in relationships with non-Jews, especially Arabs. There are other organizations in Israel that specialize in extricating Jewish women from marriages and other relationships with Arabs. Last month, Yad L'achim held an event for 100 women "rescued from Arab villages."

DiCaprio is not Arab, of course.  But for those concerned with the cultural implications of assimilation, it's not what Leo is but what he isn't -- Jewish. 

This isn't personal, wrote Marzel, who was careful to open his letter stressing that he "has nothing against Mr. DiCaprio, who I have no doubt is a talented actor." Still, he implores Refaeli: "Come to your senses, look forward and back too -- and not only the present. Don't marry Leonardo DiCaprio, don't harm  the future generations."

Four years ago, Marzel sent a similar letter to Israeli beauty queen Linor Abergil, asking her not to marry non-Jewish Lithuanian NBA player Sarunas Jasikevicius (Sharas, as he was called in Israel) and thus divorce the Jewish people. They did marry -- and later divorced.

-- Batsheva Sobelman in Jerusalem

Photo: Model Bar Refaeli arrives at the 2010 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter, held at Sunset Tower on March 7, 2010, in West Hollywood. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
Comments () | Archives (74)

From a diversity standpoint, tribes should reproduce outside their narrow genetic makeup. Tay Sacs disease and other scourges which plague the Jewish people are not a punishment from God, but rather the result of a stupid belief that Jews are different and better. Get some new chromosomes in there!

She should marry a nice jewish boy with a real future. This Leo chap will probably never amount to much. If she could find a nice accountant or doctor she would have a secure future. This Leo probably does a job or two a year, not steady like a nice jewish boy.

On the bright side, the average american marriage now lasts about seven weeks. So don´t worry too much.

The Jewish religion has mixed throughout history - from forced conversions of Assyrians - to the melting pot of the Hellenic world. And as someone commented alot of Jewish maternal dna is European, African or Middle eastern depending on settlement patterns.
Catholics hypocrites? I think not - do the Catholics in the 21st century have organizations to rescue Catholic women from non- catholic marriages? Or websites on facebook to keep suspect 'purity' of race?
Interestingly, a large part of the Isreali population is Russian Jewish of mixed parentage. So much for racial purity. The Palestinians are more likely to descend from ancient Jews than modern Isrealis. Maybe they should encourage people to marry Palestinians.

Esther married a gentile. That worked out pretty well for the Jews (prevented a genocide).

What a sad, racist society.

Hey ABG,

Is your comment at 5.55 am meant to direct your Mossad Blog Board Disinformation comrades to stop sleeping and get on with the silencing (or editing, or just plain censoring) of all posts that are logical, truthful and as such necessarily unsympathetic to all things Israel?

Israelis believe in their cultural and absolute superiority, period. Their founding prime minsters have never been shy about publicly stating that, and I'm sure all synagogues and schools in Israel reinforce that view on a daily basis.

And no Country has a"right to exist". Not if the people in it do not behave in a descent, respectable, forthright and honorable manner.

But I'm sure you'll have what you think is a clever rebuttal. What chutzpah!!

Honestrob: I am glad that you decided not to visit Israel.
Because if you did we would have to turn you back as
an undesirable alien

This is the same xenophobic fervor that has caused the Jews so many problems throughout history. From Italy during the Renaissance, as described in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, to the Spanish Inquisition, and even Nazi Germany. People historically have perceived the Jewish practice of exclusionary marriage as snobbish and condescending towards the very societies in which they have prospered.

As a Black man, I am grateful to the Jewish people for their support of the Civil Rights movement, but I also remember the mentality of white shop owners who offered limited service to blacks. In their minds, a black person was good enough to purchase something from them, yet not good enough to enter through the front door. I suspect Leonardo Di Caprio is good enough to make tons of money for several large, Jewish-owned, movie houses, just not good enough to marry their daughters.

Why should Dicaprio be immune to complaints from his wife? For example, how he doesn't get the same offers for roles as other actors?

life would be lot easier if there were no religion

I wanted to thank the LA Times blog moderator. Contrary to ABG's sarcastic criticism, I think the moderator is sincerely doing a good job here.

This issue is obviously controversial and has stoked up a lot of heated debate. Frankly, I can see how well-intentioned people on all sides can disagree about Mr. Marzel's marital 'advice' to Bar Refaeli. Although I personally think she should marry Leo Di Caprio if she wants to, I understand that there are people who have some legitimate objections to that. C'est la vie.

What I am grateful for is that (with maybe a couple of exceptions) the moderator has done a very good job of trying to let people have their say -- despite the touchiness of the subject matter -- with virtually no censorship. I really find it offensive when moderators at other newspapers (e.g., the New York Times) carry out blatant censorship, which is totally unethical from a journalistic/free speech point of view. Kudos to the LA Times moderators for acting ethically!

Come on. come to the 21 century already. Look, Jews should be the last people talking about racial purity. (Does the Nazi's superior race ring any bells?) And beside, look at her, if her hair and eyes are their true colors, she is not ethnically pure anyway. Green eyes and blond hair are not middle eastern ( thus Jewish) traits; they're European traits. A great portion of Jewish DNA comes from Europeans already. And The ultimate destiny of the human race is inter-procreation, and the sooner the better. Race is just another division. When people are more alike everywhere, there will be greater biodiversity and less propensity for wars.

Baruch Marzel needs to mind his own F'in business. No one asked him his opinion. Just for that, Bar Refaeli should marry a Palestinian just to spite him.

Religion is nonsense and keeping something around (the Jewish faith) for the sake of keeping something around is illogical. I wish all religions would go away with this one as it only breed racism (as per the fanatic Marzel) and war. Does DiCaprio believe in the tooth fairy? I hope so, or I wouldn't want him marrying into my faith.

Its ethno-racist plain and simple.

Thankfully my in-laws are more commonsensical. Where would I be without my cute rabbi-looking hubby?

From a Brazilian catholic.

Another bangup job by the LA Times moderator.

Xenu: Tell the Palestinians to stop their wars of rocks, missiles, and misinformation.

Meanwhile, tell me why you cruise the internet searching for news about Israel when you yourself don't believe Israel has a right to exist? Sounds very existential.

Whoah. You're deep, dude.

Reshekel: Jews don't prosletyze. Meaning, we don't convert people. People have to want to convert.

But thanks for knowing nothing about my religion while posting some racial based bigotry on your behalf about it.

Ezra G, please stop dissimulating. It is racism, plain and simple. As Baruch Marzel states quite plainly, Bar Refaeli was BORN Jewish, i.e. referring to her ethnicity, and her people as a lineage. How come they didn't just ask DiCaprio to convert? Is it because among ultra-right-wing Jews that those conversions aren't very much accepted?

When white supremacists in America talk about miscegenation being a bad thing, who is the first people to complain? People like the Anti-Defamation League, saying that its racism to oppose it. I assume I do not need to explain who the ADL is to you. This is hypocrisy.

So as far as I am concerned, all forms of racism are bad, be it White supremacy or Jewish ethno-supremacy.

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