Top Centrist Politician Yair Lapid: Intermarriage Is Bad Because Jews 'Haven't Recovered From the Holocaust'

Yesh Atid chairman responds to wedding of Israeli Arab broadcaster Lucy Aharish and Jewish actor Tzachi Halevy

Lucy Aharish and Tzachi Halevy pose for a photo at their wedding party in Hadera, October 11, 2018.
\ STRINGER/ REUTERS

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid responded on Sunday to the recent wedding of Israeli Arab broadcaster Lucy Aharish to Jewish actor Tzachi Halevy, saying that intermarriage is problematic because “we haven’t recovered from the Holocaust yet.”

Speaking on Army Radio, Lapid declared that he has “a problem with intermarriage” and prefers “that the Jewish people grow and not shrink. Now there are fewer Jews than there were before the Holocaust and we’re trying to grow.”

>> Analysis: Israeli lawmaker's attack on celebrity Jewish-Arab marriage echoes Nazi ideology

In an apparent reference to lawmaker Oren Hazan (Likud) and Interior Ministry Arye Dery, who attacked the couple on their wedding day last Thursday, Lapid added: “Let’s say someone doesn’t like this, they couldn’t wait a week? On the couple’s happy day they had to say that?”

Hazan took to Twitter Thursday and accused Aharish of “seducing a Jewish soul with the goal of harming our country and for preventing more Jewish progeny from continuing the Jewish dynasty.”

Directing his attention to Halevy, known for his role in the TV series “Fauda,” Hazan added: “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!”

Dery, for his part, told Army Radio that he is “against such things,” and that “we mustn't encourage such things, despite all the love.” The interior minister also envoked the Holocaust, saying that “the pain of assimilation worldwide is consuming the Jewish people” and claiming as an example that New York state has less Jews than it did after the Holocaust.

Besides addressing the couple’s wedding, Lapid touched upon Gaza and criticized the government’s handling of the situation there.

“I’m in favor of going back to targeted assassinations,” he said. “We have to create a wedge between the population in Gaza and Hamas, to offer a lot of sticks but also a lot of carrots. Gaza has no immediate solution; it’s an ongoing problem.”

Lapid also refused to rule out joining a coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “Because I don’t like this culture of disqualifications and I don’t want anyone to disqualify me.” He further hinted at setting up a centrist bloc, saying, “Good people talk to one another.”