Rivlin de­fends Arab-Jewish wed­ding

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY SHIRA RUBIN

THE WED­DING of a Jewish-born Is­raeli woman and an Arab-Is­raeli man went off suc­cess­fully in Ris­hon Let­zion in cen­tral Is­rael this week, de­spite the pres­ence of hun­dreds of pro­test­ers in a park­ing lot near the ban­quet­ing hall.

The protest was or­gan­ised by Lehava, the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Pre­ven­tion of As­sim­i­la­tion in the Holy Land, which has ha­rassed mixed Jewish-Arab cou­ples in the past.

“We will dance and be merry un­til the sun comes up. We favour co­ex­is­tence,” said the groom, Mah­moud Man­sour, to Chan­nel 2 News.

The Ris­hon Let­zion Mag­is­trates Court al­lowed the protest on the con­di­tion that it re­main 200m from the venue, and that sup­port­ers of Lehava do not con­tact the cou­ple for 90 days af­ter the wed­ding.

Le­havaflout­edtherul­ing,at­tempt­ing to rush guests while chant­ing, “Death to Arabs”, and hoist­ing signs that read slo­gans such as, “As­sim­i­la­tion is a Holo­caust for the Jewish peo­ple.”

Mr Man­sour, 26, a Mus­lim, and Morel Malka, 23, who re­cently con­verted to Is­lam, hired sev­eral dozen se­cu­rity guards for pro­tec­tion.

Is­raeli Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin ex­pressed sup­port for the Jaffa cou­ple on his Face­book page on Sun­day, and said the campaign by the right-wing group was a form of in­cite­ment that “erodes the shared demo­cratic and Jewish foun­da­tion of Is­rael”.

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