Bahai News - Jews, Arabs meet to heal rifts nationwide
Thuesday, October 12, 2000
Jews, Arabs meet to heal rifts nationwide
Israeli officials and leaders of various Jewish and Arab communities met
last night in an attempt to bring about a reconciliation between Jews and
Arabs and an end to the sectarian violence that has raged throughout the
country for almost two weeks.
l Jerusalem: Chairs of the local Jewish residents committees met with
leaders of Arab villages and the heads of the Beit Safafa administration.
Participants at the meeting agreed that a good relationship had prevailed
between the various communities and that it had to be preserved. The Arab
representatives, however, expressed their dismay at the continued deadlock
in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It was decided to
implement a number of joint programs to calm the tensions.
l Tel Aviv: The commander of the Tel Aviv police district commander and
soon-to-be national police commissioner, Major General Shlomo Aharonishky,
met yesterday with representatives of the Committee for the Advancement of
Jaffa Arabs, as well as members of the Tel Aviv city council and leaders
of the Arab community. Aharonishky told those present that the police had
tried to exercise restraint when dealing with demonstrators, but could not
stand by when the law was being flouted before their eyes.
Tel Aviv police did not allow the city's mayor, Ron Huldai, to go ahead
with a planned tour of the southern Hatikva neighborhood together with
representatives of the Jaffa Arab community, saying that the area was
not safe enough. Huldai instead toured the streets of Jaffa, escorted by
representatives of the Islamic Council and members of the city council.
l Haifa: A special meeting of 35 of the city's religious leaders met
to discuss the recent clashes, under the banner: "We continue together."
Among those in attendance were Rabbi Sha'ar-Yishuv Hacohen and Rabbi
Shlomo Chelouche, Bishop Boutros Mualem, Sheikh Hassan Asdi, Haifa Mayor
Amram Mitzna, representatives of the Druze community and the head of the
Bahai community in the city.
l Be'er Sheva: Mayor Yaakov Terner met with the heads of the Negev
settlements as well as Bedouin and Jewish community leaders. During the
meeting, the Bedouin representatives called for the day-to-day problems
to be put to one side and for people to act with more restraint. "We are
deprived, but today, we have put this to one side," they said. The head
of the Omer local council, Pini Badash, turned to the head of the Tel
Sheva council to say: "Today we are together. You are responsible for
Tel Sheva and I for Omer. Today, we are all together."
Representatives from all of the local Bedouin councils attended the
conciliatory meeting, though a small number of Jewish local council
heads were absent.
l Jezreel Valley: Heads of Jewish and Arab councils met yesterday under
the auspices of the Jezreel Valley regional council to debate a renewed,
joint effort to bridge the divides between the communities that have
appeared of late. Also in attendence were Science, Culture and Sport
Minister Matan Vilnai, who heads the emergency committee to coordinate
government operations in the Arab sector, and other Arab notaries.
©Copyright 2000, Ha'aretz
Page last updated/revised 101200
Return to the Bahá'í Association's Main Web Page