JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A surprise celebrity wedding bridging Israel’s Jewish-Muslim divide drew mixed public reaction on Thursday 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.
“We Are Signing a Peace Accord,” the couple joked on their wedding invitation, quoted by the Israel Hayom newspaper.
The decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict has often fed tensions between Israel’s majority Jews and the 20 percent Arab minority. According to the most recent national marriage data available, for 2015, just 23 out of some 58,000 weddings were between Arabs and Jews.