Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Reuven Rivlin Visits Hebron and Kiryat Arba Despite Protests

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony for a new Jewish museum in Hebron amid protests.

Speaking Monday at the Hebron Heritage Museum, which commemorates the 1929 riots in which Palestinians in the West Bank city killed dozens of Jews, Rivlin said “we can and should try” to encourage “dialogue” there.

Several dozen demonstrators — a mix of Palestinians, leftist Israelis and foreign activists — protested the visit, and Palestinians said Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators, Yahoo News UK reported.

The Jerusalem Post described the encounter between police and protesters as a “small scuffle” that ensued “until security forces dispersed the protesters.”

Also Monday, Rivlin visited the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims. In 1994, a Jewish settler murdered 29 Palestinians during prayer services at the mosque there.

“We are in an election season. We are permitted to disagree, but we must not degrade each other, not on the right and not on the left,” Rivlin said in an address in Kiryat Arba, according to Haaretz. “Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens are entitled to respect. We established a Jewish and democratic state here, a state that’s as committed to its Jewish principles as to its democratic ones. We are all equal and obligated by the law.

“Organizations on the left asked me to boycott the Jewish community in Hebron,” Rivlin said, adding that right-wing activists had asked him to decline an invitation to speak next month at an event organized by the Haaretz newspaper and partly funded by the New Israel Fund.

“I did not cancel my visit to Hebron as I would never cancel my participation at Haaretz’s conference on democracy,” Rivlin said.

Approximately 700 Jews and 200,000 Palestinians live in Hebron.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.