World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli police on Sunday blocked more than 200 far-right Jewish rioters from rushing guests at a wedding of a Jewish woman and Muslim man as they shouted "death to the Arabs," an evermore increasing expression of racism and Islamophobia in the Zionist State.
Several dozen police, including members of the force's most elite units, formed human chains to keep the protesters from the wedding hall's gates and chased after many who defied them. Four protesters were arrested, and there were no injuries.
A lawyer for the couple, Maral Malka, 23, and Mahmoud Mansour, 26, both from the Jaffa section of Tel Aviv, had sought a court order to bar the protest, but the court refused.
However, he obtained backing for police to keep protesters 200 metres (yards) from the wedding hall in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Lezion.
The protest highlighted a rise in hatred among Jewish Israelis towards Arab citizens in the past two months amid a month long assault on the Gaza Strip, just two months after the choking and torching to death of a Palestinian teen in the Jerusalem area.
A Jewish extremist group called Lehava, which organised the wedding demonstration, has harassed Jewish-Arab couples in the past, often citing religious grounds for their objections to intermarriage.
The groom told Israel's Channel 2 TV the protesters failed to derail the wedding or dampen its spirit. "We will dance and be merry until the sun comes up. We favour coexistence," he said.
'DEATH TO THE ARABS' THREATS CHANTED
The Jewish racists, many of them young men wearing black shirts, denounced Malka, who was born Jewish and converted to Islam before the wedding, as a "traitor against the Jewish state," and shouted epithets of hatred towards Arabs including "death to the Arabs." They sang a song that urges, "May your village burn down."
Lehava spokesman and former lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari denounced Jews intermarrying with non-Jews of any denomination as "worse than what Hitler did" in World War Two.
A surprise wedding guest was Israel's health minister, Yael German, a centrist in Netanyahu's government. She told reporters as she headed inside that she saw the wedding and the racist protest against it as "an expression of democracy."
Arab citizens make up about 20 percent of Israel's majority Jewish population, and the overwhelming majority of Arabs are Muslims. Rabbinical authorities who oversee most Jewish nuptials in Israel object to intermarriage fearing it will diminish the ranks of the Jewish people.
Many Israeli couples who marry out of their faith are forced to do so abroad.
Malka's father, Yoram Malka, said on Israeli television he objected to the wedding, calling it "a very sad event." He said he was angry that his daughter had converted to Islam. Of his now son-in-law, he said, "My problem with him is that he is an Arab."Last Mod: 18 Ağustos 2014, 11:15