(JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called for the building of a new city to accommodate Israel’s growing Arab minority.
Rivlin met Thursday at his residence with 50 Arab local council heads and mayors and discussed integration and development, according to his office.
Rivlin called for the creation of a new Arab city, and for schools to “continue to deepen the integration of the Arabic language in all our children’s educations.”
“Today the Arab minority is no longer such a minority, and there is a need to realign the system of local government to include balance between all sectors of Israeli society,” the president said.
The mayors agreed to create a working group managed by the president’s office to seek out solutions.
Mazen Ghanaian, the mayor of Sakhnin and the head of a committee for Arab municipalities, called for Rivlin’s help in addressing unemployment.
“We have come to ask for your intervention, mainly in the growing unemployment among Arab men, which is a phenomenon plaguing all parts of the country,” Ghanaian said. “We, as mayors, are facing claims made by citizens who demand education and employment.”