Lehava

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Lehava is an Israeli organization whose primary objective is opposing marriages between Jewish women and non-Jewish, particularly Arab, men. It has been described as "far-right-wing" in the Israeli media, and its actions have been denounced by the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as being like “rodents gnawing under the shared democratic and Jewish foundation of Israel.”.[1] Michael Ben-Ari, a former Israeli Member of Knesset, is Lehava's spokesman.[2]

The organization gained notoriety in 2010 after sending an open letter to Israeli Jewish supermodel Bar Refaeli urging her to break off her relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who is Roman Catholic. Lehava was founded by Mosis Zion, and it employs a number of figures including Kahanist politician Baruch Marzel, formerly of the outlawed Kach movement.[3][4] Multiple rebbetzins, acting on behalf of Lehava, issued an open letter urging Israeli women not to date Arabs; this letter caused a controversy and was denounced by other rabbis.[5][6] The organization has also spoken out against Mark Zuckerberg's marriage to Priscilla Chan.[7] In addition to opposing interfaith and interethnic marriages, Lehava also has encouraged Israelis to report to the organization the names of Jews who rent to Arabs, so that they can be named and shamed publicly.[8]

In 2014 it organised hostile protests against a mixed couple from Jaffa, Mahmoud Mansour a Palestinian and and his Jewish bride-to-be, Morel Malka, to object to their marrying, The group was reported as saying "Please come with positive energy and bring loudspeakers and horns. We will ask our sister to return home with us to the Jewish people who are waiting for her," by Israeli news site Arutz Sheva. When the couple appealed to a court to ban the demonstration, a judgement was handed down allowing the protest to proceed, but no closer than 200 metres away from the site of the ceremony in the Israeli town of Rishon Letzion.[9] Haaretz reported that the protesters chanted "death to leftists" and "death to Arabs" despite one of the organisers trying to calm them down.[10]

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