Jewish-Arab wedding braces for racist protests

Anti-assimilation group publishes details of the ceremony and calls on public to come with megaphones and banners

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a wedding (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a wedding (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A phalanx of 14 security guards has been hired to protect the wedding of a Jewish woman and an Arab man after an anti-assimilation organization called on the public to crash the ceremony, the NRG news site reported Thursday.

The precautions were taken after a photograph of the invitation to the wedding was posted on social media websites by anti-assimilation organizations Yad L’achim and Lehava, generating a storm of protest from Internet users who objected to the union.

Yad L’achim blurred out the time and location of the wedding between the bride Moral and the groom Mohammad, but solicited users’ comments in the hope that they would convince the bride to call off the nuptials. It said said that while it tries to dissuade Jewish women from marrying Arab men, if a woman is determined to go through with her plans, she is left alone. The organization said it was in contact with the bride, Moral.

The more extremist Lehava organization posted the full invitation and called for a rally to be held outside the wedding hall next Sunday as the couple tie the knot. On its Facebook page, Lehava called for hundreds of people to protest the wedding and suggested that demonstrators bring megaphones and banners.

Police said they were aware of the issue and planned to send units to the area to prevent any disturbance.

Benzi Gupstein, chairman of the Lehava anti-assimilation organization (screen capture: Channel 10)
Benzi Gupstein, chairman of the Lehava anti-assimilation organization (screen capture: Channel 10)

Bentzi Gupstein, the chairman of Lehava, told NRG that while this would not be the first intermarriage in Israel, it was particularly galling because it comes against the backdrop of the Gaza conflict.

“We are still at war and she is marrying a member of the enemy,” he said, despite the fact that the groom is an Israeli citizen. He added that the fact the wedding is to be held in Rishon Lezion, a city that was targeted by rockets fired from Gaza, made it all the more infuriating. Usually, weddings between Jewish women and Arab men are held in the groom’s town or village.

The father of the bride told Channel 10 in an interview that he was kept in the dark about the relationship for the past two and half years and that he will boycott the wedding.

“I never dreamed that my daughter would marry an Arab,” he said. “I’m not going, period.”

His ex-wife, he said, supported his daughter and plans to attend the wedding.

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