Hundreds of protesters arrived to demonstrate Sunday night against the mixed marriage of a young couple from Yafo: Moral, a 23-year-old Jewish woman recently converted to Islam by her groom, Mahmoud Mansour, a 26-year-old Muslim Arab.
At the protest led by the Lehava group which fights assimilation in Israel, former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari addressed the crowd, saying "Moral, it won't help you. They always will remind you that you're Jewish and where you came from. The children you give birth to will never be treated as equal to them."
"They tell us that we're racist - let's see one Arab woman come marry a Jew at this hall...then we'll see who's racist," added Ben-Ari to the protesters. He was referring to the fact that a Muslim woman who marries a Jew can expect to be murdered by her co-religionists.
As noted by Ben-Ari, in nearly all cases of mixed marriages with Arabs in Israel, the Jewish partner is the bride. It is a well documented phenomenon that such wives often suffer abuse from their Arab husbands, and many require help to escape.
Ben-Ari noted that former Prime Minister Golda Meir, "a prime minister of the Labor party, a representative of the left, etc. - when she spoke about assimilation she said...'whoever marries and assimilates joins the six million (Jews murdered in the Holocaust). She saw in what's happening here a continuation of the work of (Nazi Leader Adolf) Hitler."
Six protesters were arrested for disturbing public order as over 100 police officers were on site to secure the event at its Rishon Letzion wedding hall venue. A court case Sunday morning allowed the protest providing it stayed 200 meters from the wedding hall.
Nationalist public figure Baruch Marzel also spoke at the protest against the wedding, a marriage Moral's father refused to attend because of his opposition to his daughter's disengagement from the Jewish people.
"Two months ago we sent thousands of soldiers to prevent the danger of Hamas in the south. But the danger assimilation poses to the Jewish nation is a danger a thousand times worse," said Marzel.
Marzel called on Jews in Israel to wake up before "what happens abroad, where every second Jew assimilates, arrives in Israel," in a reference to the remarkably high assimilation rates in America and Europe.
Small counter-protest against "racism"
Opposite the Lehava protest several dozen leftists held a counter-protest, decrying the supposed "racism" of opposing assimilation. Jewish law expressly forbids marriage with non-Jews who have not undergone a proper conversion to Judaism.
The marriage has been garnering mass media attention, and was even commented on by newly instated President Reuven Rivlin, who wrote on his Facebook page Sunday "the revelations of incitement against (the couple) are outrageous and worrying, regardless of whatever my position or that of another will be on the issue (of mixed marriages)."
Responding to Rivlin's criticism, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir stated "it's sad to hear that the state president is ignoring the danger of assimilation and encouraging assimilation, instead of coming with us to protest this disgrace."
"I expect Mr. Rivlin to dedicate his time to the war on assimilation in Israel and globally. Because today it's Moral, tomorrow it could be his granddaughter," added the attorney.