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Rivlin defends Arab-Jewish wedding

    Bride and groom celebrate
    Bride and groom celebrate

    The wedding of a Jewish-born Israeli woman and an Arab-Israeli man went off successfully in Rishon Letzion in central Israel this week, despite the presence of hundreds of protesters in a parking lot near the banqueting hall.

    The protest was organised by Lehava, the Organisation for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land, which has harassed mixed Jewish-Arab couples in the past.

    "We will dance and be merry until the sun comes up. We favour coexistence," said the groom, Mahmoud Mansour, to Channel 2 News.

    The Rishon Letzion Magistrates Court allowed the protest on the condition that it remain 200m from the venue, and that supporters of Lehava do not contact the couple for 90 days after the wedding.

    Lehava flouted the ruling, attempting to rush guests while chanting, "Death to Arabs", and hoisting signs that read slogans such as, "Assimilation is a Holocaust for the Jewish people."

    Mr Mansour, 26, a Muslim, and Morel Malka, 23, who recently converted to Islam, hired several dozen security guards for protection.

    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expressed support for the Jaffa couple on his Facebook page on Sunday, and said the campaign by the right-wing group was a form of incitement that "erodes the shared democratic and Jewish foundation of Israel".

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