Right-wing Israeli lawmakers’ reactions to Jewish-Muslim celebrity marriage spark outrage
Two Israeli right-wing lawmakers sparked outrage on Thursday after they spoke out against the surprise marriage between popular Israeli-Arab news anchor Lucy Aharish and Jewish "Fauda" star Tzahi Halevy.
Reacting to news of the couple's interfaith wedding on Wednesday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and firebrand right-wing lawmaker Oren Hazan condemned the coupling and “assimilation” between Jews and Arabs.
Hazan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party well-known for boorish and provocative statements, said Aharish had "seduced" a Jewish man and accused Halevy of having been “Islamicized”.
“I’m don't blame Lucy Aharish of seducing a Jewish soul in order to hurt our nation and prevent more Jewish offspring from continuing the Jewish line. On the contrary, she’s welcome to convert,” Hazan wrote.
He said that Halevy had taken his role on the hit TV show “Fauda”, in which he plays an undercover Israeli agent working in the Palestinian territories, “one step too far.”
“I do blame Tzachi 'the Islamicizing' Halevy, who took Fauda a step too far – Bro stop being delusional. Lucy, it’s not personal, but you should know Tzachi is my brother and the Jewish people are my people, stop the assimilation!” he continued.
Deri, meanwhile, told Army Radio that the marriage “was not the right thing to do” and said that “assimilation is consuming the Jewish people.”
"We mustn't encourage such things, despite all the love," he said.
He said that children of a Muslim mother and Jewish father would face “serious problems” in Israel, and said that “if [Aharish’s] soul longs for Judaism, there is a conversion process.”
"I would tell Lucy I have no doubt she did not mean to harm the State of Israel. They're a couple in love and getting married, but this isn't the right thing. You'll have children, they'll have a problem in Israel because of they're status," he said.
Deri and Hazan’s remarks drew immediate backlash, with fellow lawmakers slamming their reactions as “racist” and “embarrassing”.
Zionist Union MK Yoel Hasson said that the lawmakers’ reactions showed the “dark, racist and embarrassing face” of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party.
Shelly Yachimovich, also of the opposition Zionist Union, said that the remarks drew parallels to the “death eaters” of the Harry Potter world, who “believed only pure-bloods were allowed to exist”.
Meirav Ben Ari of the Kulanu party said she hoped Aharish and Halevi “only remember the blessings” on their marriage, and ignored “disgusting” criticisms such as Deri’s and Hazan’s.
Aharish, who is the first Arab news presenter on Hebrew-language Israeli television and previously anchored for i24NEWS, was awarded the honor of lighting a torch at Israel’s national Independence Day ceremony in 2015 in recognition of her work as a “trailblazing Muslim journalist.”
Halevy, a singer and actor from Petach Tikvah, rose to fame for his roles on Israeli-television series “Fauda” and “Mossad 101”. In 2018, he portrayed late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the Netflix movie “The Angel.”
The couple has reportedly been together for four years, keeping both their relationship and wedding plans private for fear of harassment, Hadashot news reported.
Israel enforces religious law on marriages, banning civil or interfaith weddings.
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So, young Jewish brothers, Westernization is good, but Westernization + a little orthodoxy, a little bit of self, it's better. The Arabs are 22 countries and 378 million people (2014 data), the Jewish people is the only country and only 14.7 million genuine Jews (and here again I think). So, seriously young sisters and Jewish brothers, you are not going to increase the number of "others" by making children with them while diluting you in passing, if not in passing, your authenticity, your racial and religious originality will disappear with the weather. Also, when young siblings and Jewish brothers are asked to marry you, it is for this legitimate reason to increase your number of Jews as true as they are authentic, you can easily see it. I know you the smarts of the Earth, so I think you understand what I'm talking about. Thank you.