A surprise celebrity wedding bridging Israel’s Jewish-Muslim divide drew mixed public reaction in a country where such inter-marriage is extremely rare.
Wednesday’s nuptials of Tsahi Halevi, an Arabic-fluent Jewish actor, and Lucy Aharish, a Muslim anchor on a top Hebrew news show, followed a four-year romance that, friends said, they had kept secret to avoid falling foul of cultural sensitivities.
But the marriage was rued by Arye Deri, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who serves as Israeli interior minister, a role that oversees the country’s population registry.
“It’s their own private affair. But, as a Jew, I have to tell you that I’m against such things because we must preserve the Jewish people,” Deri said in an interview on Israel’s Army Radio. “(Their) children will grow up, go to school and later want to get married, and then they’ll face difficult problems.”