Despite the presumed kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, over 500 people attended the Culture Against Racism event held Saturday in the Arab town of Fureidis, near Zichron Ya’acov.
The event, organized by the Coalition Against Racism in Israel in conjunction with the Fureidis local council, was held as a protest against recent “price-tag” attacks, including one that took place there on April 28 in which tires were slashed and graffiti was spray-painted on the walls of a mosque.
Adnan Marie, a youth leader in Fureidis and an organizer of the event, said the program would “make coexistence here stronger between Fureidis, its neighbors and all of Israel.”
The day-long program began with a tour of the town and its shops. Throughout the day visitors, mostly Jewish, and local residents interacted and got to know each other.
Resident Mohammed Hosaniah said he was happy to attend.
“I want peace in our country and other countries because, after all, we are all brothers,” he said.
The program ended with performances in both Arabic and Hebrew by Arab and Jewish artists, including singer Efrat Feldman, cellist Uri Netanel, advocate Ala Azzam, the Jewish-Arab Galil circus and local children.
“I believe in the purpose of the occasion and I want to support the cause, especially today after what happened,” Feldman said, alluding to the apparent West Bank kidnapping.
Yael Ulmer, a member of Maagalim-Halakat, an organization that promotes Jewish- Arab coexistence, called the event “very, very important.”
“The greatest thing is that on this day, it was not canceled,” she said.
Organizer Nidal Othman agreed, saying the teenagers missing in the West Bank made holding the event even more essential, adding that it was aimed at eradicating racism against all people.
“We came here today to say we’re against violence and against terror,” Othman said. “It’s very important to continue.”
Marie said he hoped the program would become an annual event, the aim being “to create a day each year that is the day against racism.”