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Israeli President Visits Arab Village in Honor of Muslim Festival

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By Anav Silverman
Tazpit News Agency

Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin made a festive visit to the northern
Israeli town of Kfar Yasif near Acre, in honor of the Muslim Feast of
the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, which coincided with Yom Kippur this year.
Rivlin took part in a main event which brought together hundreds of
participants, among them local Arab mayors, religious and community
leaders, judges and academics.

Commenting on his father’s work in bringing different cultures
together, Rivlin spoke personally with the participants about building
bridges during his visit to Arab village made up of Druze, Muslims and

“The education I received from my father, taught me that the keys to
partnership between us, Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians, are not
floating somewhere above us, but right here, waiting for us to seize
them. These keys are not only in the hands of the political echelons,
or of law enforcement officials, they are in our hands, the hands of
each and every one of us,” said the President of Israel.

Rivlin also talked about his optimism regarding current efforts
underway to better relations between Jews and Arabs.  “I am starting
to see a little light, after the difficult and painful summer we have
endured, and perhaps precisely resulting from the sense of urgency
that prevailed.”

“In recent days I have read, heard and learned that in Lod, Ramle,
Haifa, Jaffa, Akko, and other places, residents along with community
leaders and mayors, local religious leaders, social activists, Jews,
Arabs, of different beliefs and from different ends of the spectrum,
are trying to come together to find a common path,” he emphasized.

“Within this festival today, there are symbols and principles that
connect us as the children of Abraham, alongside symbols that express
the uniqueness of each religious community. For example, the biblical
Binding of Isaac, a story of standing before God, a story about the
struggle between sacrifice and the sanctity of life, a story that is a
seminal for Jews, Christians and Muslims,” he added.

Eid al-Adha is one of the two most important Muslim holidays which
marks biblical Abraham’s sacrifice of his son in a test of faith.

The Israeli President concluded by offering blessings in both Hebrew
and Arabic, saying “I wish that you all will be proscribed for a good
year, and have a Chag Sameach and Eid-Mubarak, during which we will
all act with kindness and charity.  And that we will end the last year
and its setbacks, and begin a new year of blessings.”

The festive event was hosted with the participation of the Interior
Minister, Gidon Sa’ar, who pointed out that, “This year, two important
festivals are taking place, both for Judaism and Islam.  My request
from the local municipal leaders, religious leaders, and from the
general leadership, is to call upon all the citizens of Israel, to
behave with mutual respect, and to be tolerant of the faith, belief
and customs of others.  I also want to extend festive greetings to all
the Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Circassians citizens of Israel.”

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  • Published: 7 years ago on October 5, 2014
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  • Last Modified: October 5, 2014 @ 9:16 pm
  • Filed Under: Israel

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