In a Hebrew-language interview with the Kan public broadcaster earlier today, Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas says Arab Israelis will “lead” efforts to repair and rehabilitate synagogues burned down by violent Arab rioters in recent days in the central city of Lod.
“We have to notice that all the violence was against the backdrop of the entry [of Israeli police] to the Al-Aqsa Mosque” on Monday, Abbas tells Kan. “We must keep our distance from the holy places, leave them out of the conflict.”
He adds: “I spoke with Arab residents of Lod themselves. I heard from them that there were certain attacks on a number of synagogues. I’m speaking in their name now. I’m telling you that we will work to rehabilitate the synagogues that were harmed. Of course we condemn all attacks. We will take responsibility for this [repairing the synagogues]. We will lead on this. We have no problem with that. It’s our duty to protect the holy places of Jews and Muslims and Christians.”
Abbas has called for greater Arab-Jewish cooperation and integration over the past few months, including in his party’s bid to join, for the first time, a coalition of Zionist political parties.