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Israel 2020: unconventional love

In a multicultural, multi-ethnic state like Israel, there are all kinds of "mixed couples," who overcome prejudice together.
-PHOTO TAKEN 10APR06- Palestinian Muslim Osama Zatar, 26, spends some quiet time with his Israeli Jew wife, Jasmin Avissar, 25, near the West Bank village of Qarawat Bani Zeid near Ramallah, April 10, 2006. The couple's "Romeo and Juliet" struggle to live together is a rare tale of cross-border love in a land riven by years of [violence] between Israel and Palestinians. Picture taken April 10, 2006. - PBEAHUNNQCY

Amir Shurush is one of Israel’s most successful actors. He plays the part of Ramzi in the sitcom “Main Register,” which was nominated for an Emmy award in 2019, as well as the role of Knesset member Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, in the country’s most popular political satire. Shurush, 35, is the son of an Arab father and a Jewish mother. In an interview with Haaretz Jan. 1, he said, “The flag I wave is that I have no flag.”

In a country with over 9 million people, of whom 74% are Jews and 21% Arabs, mixed couples from different religions seem to be a natural and inevitable occurrence. No less complicated, and apparently no less inevitable, are relationships between Jews with different attitudes toward religious observance. Among the country’s Jewish population some 45% of people define themselves as secular, while about 30% range from very religious to ultra-Orthodox. Despite all the distinct differences between these sectors, it turns out that love wins, even when one partner is ultra-Orthodox and the other secular.

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