An Israeli Arab Muslim man and his wife, a former Jew who converted to Islam, are seeking protection from Israel’s High Court of Justice after a right-wing Orthodox racist organization announced plans to demonstrate at the couple’s private wedding celebration and police required that the couple hire 33 security guards to protect it.
Above: Head of Lehava Bentizion "Bentzi" Gopstein
Israeli Jewish-Arab Couple Petition High Court For Protection From Racist Orthodox Jewish Group As Police Require Couple To Hire 33 Security Guards To Protect Wedding Celebration
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An Israeli Arab Muslim man and his wife, a former Jew who converted to Islam, are seeking protection from Israel’s High Court of Justice after a right-wing Orthodox racist organization announced plans to demonstrate at the couple’s private wedding celebration in Rishon L’Tzion Sunday night, Ha’aretz reported.
The wedding hall managers and the couple have all received death threats, and the couple was forced to hire 33 security guards to protect them and their wedding celebration after the right-wing openly racist neo-Kahanist group Lehava (which is made up predominately of Zionist Orthodox, haredi and Chabad Jews) publicly announced it would protest it.
On social media, Lehava asked members and supporters to come to the wedding hall Sunday night with megaphones and signs condemning the marriage.
“Come with placards and loudspeakers. In the name of God we will succeed! Share this with everyone! Sadly, this is really happening,” Lehava wrote in a Facebook posting.
In their petition to the High Court, the couple asks for Lehava’s planned protest to be stopped and asks that Lehava members be prevented from harassing them.
The couple already married in a Muslim ceremony. Sunday night’s event is a only a celebration gathering for friends and family.
“We’ve been together for five years, but we’ve never encountered such racism. I always knew there were racists, but as long as you’re not affected by it, until you feel it in your own body, you don’t know what it is. If it were someone from her family, I would understand, but these people aren’t related. Why do they care? Why are they getting involved? If they think they’ll get us to give up on each other, it won’t happen,” the husband told Ha’aretz.
His parents and his wife’s mother support the marriage. But her father does not and is boycotting the celebration.
The couple originally hired 14 security guards for the event, but were reportedly forced to increase that number to 33 by police order. The guards will cost them 15,000 shekels ($4,330).
“Why are they forcing me to spend out of my own pocket?If something happens, they’re supposed to take care of it, not me,” the husband reportedly said, adding that no matter what Lehava and police do or don’t do, the celebration will be held as planned.“We feel great, and that really gives us strength. They think they’ll break us, but we can’t be broken. The opposite is true – we’re getting stronger,” he said.
“The wedding will go on as planned – it will be great. I’m not worried, but it’s troubling that on this day, which everyone waits for their whole life, the happiest day of their life, I have to go to court. It’s sad that such things happen in this country.”
Lehava’s head Bentzion “Bentzi” Gopstein (sometimes spelled “Gupstein”) lashed out at the wedding and called the husband – a citizen of Israel who lives in Jaffa – an “enemy” of the Jewish people.
“We are still at war and she is marrying a member of the enemy,” Gopstein said with disgust.