Nonetheless, it's incredible.
A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counselors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them.
The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate -- and little discussed -- initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organisations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.
In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls. . . .
In 2004, posters sprang up all over the northern town of Safed warning Jewish women that dating Arab men would lead to "beatings, hard drugs, prostitution and crime."
Safed's chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, told a local newspaper that the "seducing" of Jewish girls was "another form of war" by Arab men.
Both Kiryat Gat and Safed's campaigns were supported by a religious organisation called Yad L'achim, which runs an anti-assimilation team publicly dedicated to "saving" Jewish women. . . .
The degree of general opposition in Israel to interracial marriage was suggested by a government-backed television ad campaign earlier this month that urged Israeli Jews to inform on relatives abroad who were in danger of marrying a non-Jew. The ads were hastily withdrawn by surprised Israeli officials after many US Jews took offence.
One of the commenters said: 'You gotta love how Israel keeps digging itself deeper into irony.'
Me, I don't know what to say.