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Mayor Of Israel’s Largest Arab City: Arab MKs Are Inciting Riots, “Destroying Coexistence”

The mayor of Nazareth, Israel’s largest majority-Arab city, blasted Arab members of Knesset in interviews on Sunday, blaming them for inciting riots and violence.

Over 200 residents of Nazareth rioted on Thursday night, setting fires and throwing rocks at security forces. Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Joint (Arab) List party, was present at the protest before he was told to leave by Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem. In an interview on Israel’s Channel Two, Salem yelled again at Odeh, saying, “You destroyed the city. Get out of here.”

“Commerce, economy and tourism in the city of Nazareth will be damaged after such events,”Salem said in an interview with Kul al-Arab, Israel’s most popular Arabic newspaper. “Tourists will think a hundred times before visiting the city. Patriotic positions are not [expressed] in such a manner.”

Salem also told Army Radio on Sunday that Arab leaders “are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence.” He noted that while he disapproves of Israeli policy towards the Temple Mount, protests must be made in an appropriate manner. “We need to find a way to live together,” he told the popular news website Walla. “We cannot fight like this. We are damaging ourselves.”

[Photo: Flash90 ]