Hundreds of people on Monday attended an inauguration ceremony of a culture center in the West Bank town of Kiryat Arba.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who attended the ceremony, addressed the upcoming Palestinian statehood bid
at the United Nations and said that "the opening of a culture center in Kiryat Arba, which is Hebron, is our Zionist and political answer. We are here – we are not strangers in our own homeland.
"This event has a special significance in such a time when the Palestinians are desperately attempting to garner the support of the international community in order to twist Israel's arm," Rivlin noted.
Addressing the recent refusal of artists
to perform in Kiryat Arba, which is located beyond the Green Line, Kiryat Arba-Hebron Council head Malachi Levinger said he is sure that "the day would come when all the boycotters will understand the significance of the place for the Jewish people."
Zionist and political answer (Photo: Kiryat Arba Regional Council)
Committee member Bentzi Gufstein took a firmer stance, saying "I hope this place generates true Jewish culture, so that we don't have to import those traitors from Tel Aviv to perform here.
"Performing in Kiryat Arba is an honor, and whoever is not interested can stay in Tel Aviv," he exclaimed.
Local resident Sarah Libi took an opposite view, saying the uproar created by the boycott affair only helped the center's publicity. "The truth is that we should be thankful for all the exposure they are giving us. Thanks to them, we didn’t have to spend one shekel on advertisement.
"If, for example, you want to buy a subscription to the Ariel culture center, you have to enter a three month waiting list – and it's all thanks to Peace Now," said Libi.
Jerusalem resident Eran Zvi added that "there will always be boycotters, who are an extremist group that represent no one but themselves. Each boycotter brings 1,000 supporters. I am here because of them – without the boycott and the publicity, I wouldn't have known this place even existed," he noted.