News leaked out that the eldest son of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dating a Norwegian girl who is not Jewish. Yair’s private life sparked debates and an uproar on social media and across news channels in the Holy Land.
The PM’s office said that Yair and Sandra Leikanger study at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and nothing else.
This remains a hot button topic for ultra-Orthodox Jews, who also account of less than a tenth of the Israeli population.
Sara Netanyahu’s brother Hagai Ben-Artzi told Orthodox news Kikar Shabbat that his nephew is spitting on his grandparent’s graves dating a non-Jew.
“Just terrible, and the son of the prime minister no less. It is the worst thing that is threatening and was a threat throughout the history of the Jews.”
Ben-Artzi and his famous sister are not on speaking terms.
If the couple decides to marry?
“[I] would bury myself, I don’t know what I would do with myself, I’d take to the streets and rip the hair out of my head — and here it’s coming true," said Ben-Artzi.
It's a growing debate for many Jews.
A millennial chain of ancestors is cut for good when a Jewish male marries a non-Jew and his children will not be considered Jewish under Jewish law. This evokes fear in extremist.
The world is changing as people from all over are studying abroad and the increase of foreign workers in Israel. Having people intermarry will not damage the Jewish people said associate fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute Noah Slepkov. The Institute, headquartered in Jerusalem, is a professional policy think tank that promotes the thriving of Jewish culture and people worldwide.
“We’re insecure. People need to realize that having a few percent of our people intermarrying is not going to hurt this,” said Slepkov. “It's certainly a trend that's at the beginning, but one that nonetheless can make conservative Israelis feel threatened.” Benjamin Netanyahu married a non-Jew Fleur Cates in 1981, who converted to Judaism, but the couple divorced in 1984.