MyNet reports today that following the decision by Israel Railways Authority to cut Sunday morning free rides for soldiers (who return to their bases en masse at that time), Acre Mayor Shimon Lankry proposed purchasing tickets for the city’s soldiers on active duty. The result was a vote that exposed a new rift in Jewish-Arab relations in this mixed city.
The proposal split the body almost perfectly along ethnic lines, with most Jewish council members voting for it, and all the Arab members voting against.
Even Deputy Mayor Adham Jamal. who is both an Arab and a member of the Mayor’s ruling coalition, voted against his boss’s idea, arguing that it was nothing more than political posturing.
“The mayor did it to get headlines in order to get the votes of the soldiers and their parents,” he told MyNet.
Jewish businessman and city council member Shlomo Fedida also voted against the mayor’s proposal, arguing there was a safety reason behind the Railways Authority’s decision to cut down on the number of soldiers it transports Sunday mornings.