President Reuven Rivlin delivered a passionate plea to Israeli Jews Thursday to understand that Arabs in Jerusalem “are here to stay” but did not note that they have to understand that Jews also are “here to stay.”
Speaking at the “Haaretz Peace Conference in Tel Aviv, the President also blamed both the left and right-wings in Israel for failing to develop Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, implying that their economic and social misery is the reason for their wanting to kill Jews.
Facts that he did not state were that an overwhelming of Arabs in Jerusalem do not vote in Israeli elections, that the Palestinian Authority claims sovereignty over them but that they have shown little political interest in becoming Palestinian Authority citizens and losing their rights and benefits from the Jewish state.
President Rivlin’s most interesting comment was that the left-wing is just as much to blame as the right wing for not developing Jerusalem.
The Left, in the name of ‘separation,’ refused to invest in its neighborhoods, citing the supposed ‘transience’ hovering over the issue of a unified Jerusalem. Accordingly, the Left did not see fit to realize our sovereignty there or strive to bring equality in the living conditions between the city’s eastern and western areas. The Right, for its part, for reasons of ideological struggle and electoral unpopularity, also did not deem it proper to invest in the eastern part and thereby to unify the city in practice
Rivlin is a committed centrist. He said that Israelis understand “the limitations of the old ‘land for peace’ formula” and that Jews are “a courageous people, which justly lays claim to its right and obligation to defend itself, and not to fall into fateful mistakes in the name of a naive yearning for instant solutions to end the conflict.”
His declaration to the conference that the right wing must understand that Arabs and “Palestinians,” as he called them, are here to stay was omitted the other side of the coin that they have to accept the fact the Jewish State of Israel is here to stay.
Rivlin told the conference:
The Arabs of the Land of Israel, the Palestinians, are already here, now, by our side and in our midst, and they are not going anywhere. Separation does not make them ‘disappear’ just as Greater Israel will not ‘swallow’ them. Separation will not render them ‘invisible’ or ‘non-hostile.’ and Greater Israel will not make them fond of us or make them our friends.
When the President of Israel calls Jerusalem Arabs “Palestinians” he fuels a disconnect with Israel and feeds their trying to identify with the Palestinian Authority.
In the same breath, he appealed to Arab youth not to turn to violence to solve their problems.
He far from justified Arab violence but implied that it can be understood because, in his words, “We froze and repressed dealing with eastern Jerusalem in the present – and thereby literally abandoned the security of its Jewish inhabitants and the welfare of its Arab inhabitants.
“Is there really anyone, on the Right or Left, who thinks that if in the eastern section of Jerusalem, if more than 70 percent of its inhabitants live below the poverty line, that this advances Israel’s interests or the security of the city’s Jewish inhabitants?”
After having explained why he thinks Arabs are violent, and without a hint of Islamic clerics’ preaching for “martyrdom,” the radical Islamic Movement’s hate Israel message or daily Palestinian Authority incitement, President Rivlin pleaded for peace and said:
I wish to reach out to the Palestinian youth. I say to you, choosing death is not a way out. For too many years blood has been shed like water on this land. Mankind – all mankind – was created in the image of God. No blood is redder than any other. Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu