Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam criticizes Arab Knesset members and their role in violent demonstrations in the Arab community in two interviews with Israeli press Sunday.
Speaking to Army Radio, Salam says, “I blame the leaders; they are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence.”
Salam heads Israel’s largest Arab-Israeli city. While he disapproves of Israeli actions on the Temple Mount, he says Arab Israeli leaders must know how to make their voices heard without harming coexistence.
“We need to find a way to live together. We cannot fight like this. We are damaging ourselves,” he tells the Walla news site.
A demonstration in Nazareth turned violent Thursday night as protesters clashed with security forces. Over 200 people took part in the protest, according to police estimates, and it descended into rioting when protesters set fire to tires and garbage cans and hurled stones at police.
Salam tells Army Radio that he saw Arab Joint List chair Ayman Odeh at the protest.
“I said to him, ‘Get out of here. I don’t need to see you in Nazareth.’”
— Raoul Wootliff