We applaud new Israeli President Rivlin’s efforts to promote tolerance and heal wounds in Israeli society, especially for becoming the first sitting president to attend the annual memorial in Kfar Kassem, where, in 1956, Israeli border police killed 49 Arab Israeli civilians.
“A terrible crime was committed here,” Rivlin said at the ceremony last week. “It is our duty to teach this difficult incident and to draw lessons.”
Since assuming office over the summer, Rivlin has made it his mission to confront the “sickness” of anti-Arab racism, speaking out against protests against a wedding between a Muslim man and a Jewish woman and partnering with 11-year-old George Amireh, an Arab Christian boy from Jaffa, in a campaign against bullying.
While we respectfully disagree with the president’s stated support for a one-state solution and settlement expansion, we are pleased that he is using his office to bring civility back to politics and to fight racism.