Benjamin Netnayahu and Ayoub Kara..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara met with visiting US Muslim and Arab personalities at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv to discuss ways to deal with Islamic extremism.
“For us, the fight against Islamic State and Islamic extremism is the key to pacifying the region, and they agreed with us,” Kara told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“Israel is not part of the internal problems in Syria and the Arab countries,” he told the American Muslim visitors.
“They were interested in getting the Israeli point of view,” said Kara.
The delegation asked to meet with the deputy minister on its tour of the country, which includes visits to synagogues and talks with rabbis in Jerusalem on Wednesday and Thursday.
The delegation is led by Mohamed Alsiadi, who teaches Arabic at Rutgers and is the project chairman of the US-Mideast Dialogue Project at the university’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Alsiadi also is a coordinator and lecturer in the Arabic language and cultural studies program at Fordham University in New York.
Kara said that he “convinced them that the problem in the region is not the lack of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but Islamic extremism.”
Some of the members of the delegation said that they saw Jordan as being part of the solution to the conflict.
Asked if they planned on meeting with Arab MKs, Kara replied that they were not interested, because “they [the MKs] are radicals.”
“They wanted to see the only democracy in the Middle East,” he added.
Israel has opened its doors to Christian pilgrims from the Arab world who want to visit holy sites in Jerusalem, Kara told the visiting American Muslim and Arab delegation.
The government also makes gestures to the Christians in the Palestinian territories for their holiday, he said.
Kara accepted an invitation from the delegation to be a guest of honor at a large music festival for human rights to be held in January in New York with the participation of US President Barack Obama.