Knesset Speaker Rivlin Responds to "Price Tag" Attacks

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin wrote the following letter this month in response to Hand in Hand Executive Director Shuli Dichter's plea to the Knesset to be aware of and proactive about recent attacks in Israel on mosques, cars, government facilities and more. The attacks, mostly but not exclusively directed at Arabs, are being conducted by an unkown person or group and tagged with the term "price tag." This is thought to refer to the price demanded in return for reduction of or interference with Jewish settlements, even illegal ones. The letter was translated from Hebrew. 

Greetings:

First of all, I would like to say how I understand and empathize with your honest concerns about the ugly and dangerous phenomenon referred to as the “price tag” attacks. If it turns out that these ugly and criminal incidents that damaged mosques, homes and personal property were perpetrated by Jews, then we are now faced with genuine “Jewish terrorism,” which cannot be labeled by any less serious a title. This is a dangerous terrorism carried out by people who have no respect for the law or the society that enacted these laws, and we have no choice but to condemn these acts and to work to stop them from occurring in the future.

I hope that these same people who carried out this terrible crime will be brought to justice. These “price tag” incidents are perhaps the strongest test of our resolve and ability to deal with these marginal but dangerous elements in our society.

I believe the most effective way to confront this challenge is to focus on strengthening  civic relations between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. The securing of partnership and foundations of civic accord between the two communities will come about through the work of local government and agencies, as well as through the work of civil society groups and initiatives.

After my recent visit to the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem and my very positive impressions of the tremendous work being done there, I can only salute you on your part in creating this partnership. You are implementing and realizing, through your hard and dedicated work, the dream of a shared life and society between Arabs and Jews in our country.

Thus, you are working diligently for the future of Israeli society and for the victory of moderation and tolerance over hatred and fanaticism. 

Sincerely yours,

Reuven Rivlin
Speaker of the Knesset
 

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