JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s president called on the country’s law enforcement and Arab leaders to work together to provide a sense of security for all its Arab citizens.
Reuven Rivlin made his remarks Monday night at an Iftar feast at the president’s residence in Jerusalem. The feast marks the end of the day’s fasting in observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Among those on hand were Muslim officials; Rabbi David Menachem, who is known for his interfaith work with Muslims; the ambassadors to Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Kazakhstan; Israeli law enforcement and military officials, and leading figures in Israeli industry, academics and medicine.
Rivlin, welcoming his guests in Arabic, according to a statement from his office, said dealing with the “plague of violence is a heavy challenge.”
“It is a challenge that rests upon the shoulders of the government and the police, it is a challenge that rests also upon the Arab leadership in Israel. We will not be able to uproot this violence without complete cooperation between the sides, between the security and law enforcement forces in the State of Israel, whose duty it is to provide a sense of security to every citizen, and between the Arab political and civilian leadership.”
He added: “In order to build trust, we will be compelled to look to the future, to put our suspicions to the side and to work together.”
Rivlin said he would be hosting a working meeting between the police leadership and the Arab regional authority heads.
“I hope that meeting will be a further step in building confidence and cooperation,” he said. “We are dealing with people’s lives.”