Social and Economic Justice

"Miscegenation?!" The Coalition Against Racism Calls for Investigation Against Lehava

04 September 2014 By New Israel Fund

NIF grantee Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) is calling on Israel's Attorney General to investigate incitement by the Lehava organization. Lehava, whose primary objective is opposing relationships between Jewish women and non-Jewish men, dominated the Israeli headlines last month after it organized a noisy protest outside the wedding of Mahmoud Mansour and Morel Malka in in Jaffa. Participants at the protest carried signs saying "Daughter of Israel to the people of Israel" and "Assimilation is a Holocaust."

In the build-up to this demonstration, President Reuven Rivlin issued a statement saying: "Mahmoud and Morel from Jaffa have decided to marry and to exercise their freedom in a democratic country. The manifestations of incitement against them are infuriating and distressing, whatever my opinion or anyone else's might be regarding the issue itself."

Ironically for Lehava's "anti-miscegenation" campaign, Morel was no longer Jewish at the time of her marriage; she had formally converted to Islam.

IRAC's call to the Attorney General is part of the work of the NIF supported Coalition Against Racism, which has cited five incidents of incitement by the group. Lehava's deplorable message that Arabs are the enemies of Israel, and that contact with them will lead to disaster and the kidnapping of Jewish girls to Arab villages, hinders efforts to build a shared society. Posters, media campaigns and social media threatening Arab men who approach Jewish women are standard operating practice for Lehava, as are messages to Jewish women themselves instructing them to stay clear of Arab men.

Adv. Nidal Othman, Director of the Coalition against Racism in Israel, said: "For four years, IRAC has approached the Attorney General regarding Lehava, but nothing has been done…The authorities' failure to take active steps…constitutes silent acquiescence…to the phenomena of incitement and violence."




[image]

Israel's dilemma: Who can be an Israeli?

By Daniel Sokatch and David N. Myers

13 January 2014