Precisely now, as Hamas wages a terror war on Israel and signs of Islamic extremism are burgeoning among the Arab citizens of Israel, a Muslim man and Jewish woman are about to get married, ignoring the opposition of the bride's father.
Mahmoud (26) and Moral (23) met two years ago in their hometown of Yafo, a mixed Jewish and Arab city joined to the south of Tel Aviv, which has seen its share of Arab anti-Israel incidents. They plan to marry on Sunday at a wedding hall in Rishon Letzion, a city that has come under rocket fire from Gaza.
The father of the bride will not be among the guests. He explained that "she went out with him for two years behind my back. ...(Mahmoud's) father tried to convince me to come, I told him that I don't want to hear from him. I don't accept it and I won't come."
"I want my daughter to get married properly, that a rabbi will sanctify her wedding. This is a tragedy, it's sad," added the father. "I told my daughter that I'd give her whatever she wants, just not to go with him - but she isn't listening. It's impossible to talk with her."
In his opposition to his daughter's disconnection from the Jewish people, Moral's father is joined by Lehava, a Jewish education group fighting assimilation in Israel, reports Yedioth Aharonoth. Lehava has publicized the couple's invitation card, calling for those who are concerned to gather and protest in front of the hall in an attempt to prevent the wedding.
"Please come with positive energy and bring loudspeakers and horns," wrote the group. "We will ask our sister to return home with us to the Jewish people who are waiting for her."
The call included the phone number of the hall, asking people to call and explain that "the hall's good name will be destroyed because they are supporting assimilation. Don't threaten, explain why it's painful for the people of Israel."
"A desecration of G-d's name"
Mahmoud said that Moral has already converted to Islam and that the two have undergone a wedding at an Islamic court. He added "we're a few days ahead of the wedding, that's what's going to happen. Let them do what they want, the wedding will happen. Whoever wants to protest - let them come protest."
In response, Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain stated "even if she converted to Islam that has no meaning according to the Jewish religion. If G-d forbid the wedding is not cancelled we will protest not just for her, but to bring a message to all others thinking to marry them."
"It's an unparalleled desecration of G-d's name," Gopshtain said of the specter of assimilation. "I hope that as many people as possible come to protest in a non-violent manner. To get married with the enemy in a city like Rishon Letzion that is being bombarded by Arabs is a disgrace."
In nearly all cases of mixed marriages with Arabs in Israel the Jewish partner is the bride. It has become a well documented phenomenon that such wives regularly suffer abuse from their Arab husbands, both emotional and physical, and in many cases require help to escape.