Police face residents in Akko
Photo: Eran Yofi Cohen
Dichter meets with Arab leaders
Photo: George Ginsberg

Akko's Arab leaders condemn rioters

Akko Riots: Arab community leaders draft manifesto that includes condemnation of man who drove through Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, as well as Arabs whose rioting 'caused irreparable injustice'

"We are appealing to you with all our hearts," was the opening line of a manifesto drafted by Arab leaders in the riot-ridden city of Akko on Sunday. As they pledged to do, the leaders condemned the driver who drove through a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, as well as the Arab rioters.


The manifesto recounts a history of respect demonstrated by the Arab public towards Yom Kippur.


 "We regret the fact that some of us did not maintain this respect and chose to drive their cars through a Jewish neighborhood, thus offending our Jewish neighbors," it said.


The leaders went on to condemn the lawlessness and smashing of windows that ensued and wrote: "Those who have done this have committed an irreparable injustice and indescribable damage, and caused injury and suffering, pain and grief, not to mention financial harm."


The manifesto also condemns the resulting revenge attacks "on Arab residents residing within Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city. They were also wronged, and suffered pain and financial damage. We were all harmed."


Fearing a 'crazy person'

The Arab leaders conclude the document by calling on the public to make peace. "We are facing trying times. We must display responsibility and maturity. Such a lengthy and blessed pact of coexistence is not to be destroyed in one day," they wrote.


Among the public figures who signed their names to the manifesto are MK Abas Zkoor (United Arab List-Ta'al), media persona Zoher Bahalul, and various Akko Municipality council members.


Earlier Sunday, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter met with a number of Jewish and Arab representatives in the city, including Akko's chief rabbi, Yosef Yashar, and Rabbi Yosef Stern, who heads the city's hesder yeshiva. "We feel the police is afraid of the Arabs, and is acting solely against the Jews," one of the rabbis told Dichter.


Dichter expressed concern over the sides' lack of willingness to negotiate, and said he feared "some crazy person that will cause a serious incident, which will turn the Akko Riots into something else entirely – and much more dangerous."


פרסום ראשון: 10.13.08, 00:02
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