Mahmoud Mansour, a Muslim Arab from Jaffa, and Morel Malcha, a Jewish Israeli who also lives in Jaffa and had converted to Islam, spent the last weekend making final arrangements for their wedding, making a special effort to ignore the protests their relationship has garnered, after a radical right wing organization threatened to disrupt the wedding.
Despite a petition on their behalf to block protesters from The Organization for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (LEHAVA), a court refused to ban the protest Sunday.
Judge Iyra Mordechai from the Rishon Lezion Magistrate Court said the protest could take place, but at distance from the event itself.
A day before the wedding, planned to take place in Rishon LeZion, the two received many calls of support, telling them to not be afraid. “The wedding day will be one of the most important and historic days,” the groom said. “We want to have a have a great wedding, one that no one has ever had."
Mansour (center) with his friends (Photo: Ido Erez)
Mansour and Malcha’s wedding is at the center of a protest organized by The Organization for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (LEHAVA), that is working to prevent it from taking place.
Marriage preparations at groom's home (Photo: Ido Erez)
The groom has filed a harassment prevention order and will receive a ruling on the issue in coming hours. “Hopefully the judge will be considerate,” he says. “If not, we will continue as usual, and ignore the racist protestors.”
Photo: Ido Erez
Mansour added that “many Jews called me and came over to support and strengthen me. I appreciate every person that respects our decision. May God strengthen them.”
His bride-to-be, he said, is “very happy and waiting for the wedding day. She isn’t even addressing the protest and the responses. What interests her is getting married and living together forever. No one can break us.”
Photo: Ido Erez
Muhammad, the groom’s father, stressed that “we are not afraid of anything. The protest is useless, all the people we invited will arrive for the wedding and participate in our joy. I’m proud of my dear son, we will be by his side his entire life.”
Muhammad Abu Shindi, a friend of the groom, added that “we weren’t expecting such a response, but the racists will not hurt us. The groom is a strong and responsible person and we all trust him.
Mansour's home in Jaffa (Photo: Ido Erez)
Residents living in the neighborhood told Ynet that they support the wedding and support the couple being together. They explained that the organization’s protest stems from the security situation and Operation Protective Edge. “We won’t let anyone harm the wedding. Those who want to protest may do so peacefully.”