(JTA) — An Arab man and his Jewish-born bride hired 14 security guards for their wedding celebration in Israel in response to an anti-intermarriage Jewish group’s call for a protest rally at the hall.
Mahmoud Mansour, who is Muslim, and Morel Malka, who recently converted to Islam, reportedly are concerned for their safety at Sunday’s event in Rishon Lezion after the group, Lehava, posted photographs of their invitation on social media and urged protesters to rally outside the hall with megaphones and banners, the NRG news site reported.
Police said they will send personnel to the area to prevent any disturbance.
The couple is already legally married, according to Haaretz; the Sunday reception is merely a celebration. The groom’s parents and bride’s mother reportedly support the union.
Bentzi Gupstein, the chairman of Lehava, told NRG that his group was particularly upset about the wedding because of this summer’s escalation in tensions between Hamas and Israel.
“We are still at war and she is marrying a member of the enemy,” he said.
Mansour, of Jaffa, is an Israeli citizen. Gupstein said he was also angry that the wedding is taking place in Rishon Lezion, one of many cities targeted by rockets from Gaza this summer.
The father of the bride told Israel’s Channel 10 in an interview that he did not know about the relationship until recently and that he plans to boycott the wedding, the Times of Israel reported.
“I never dreamed that my daughter would marry an Arab,” he said. “I’m not going, period.”
The banquet hall management said several people have called to criticize the hall for hosting the event, while others have made threats, Haaretz reported.