President Shimon Peres_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Notwithstanding threats of a protest by the Islamic Movement and the Balad
party, President Shimon Peres will go ahead with his official visit to Nazareth,
on Monday, as planned.
It will not be the first time that demonstrators
have sought to put a spoke in the presidential wheel.
Peres was not
deterred by protest demonstrations when he visited Nazareth in January 2008, and
remains undeterred today.
Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy told Israel Radio
on Friday that he was confident he would be welcoming the president to his city
Peres was previously in Nazareth in January 2010.
that time he led a busload of Israeli hi-tech executives with the aim of
recruiting Arab computer engineers and programmers, and thereby opening the job
market to them.
Referring to the demonstration that may take place on
Monday, Jaraisy said protest is perfectly legitimate providing that it is
conducted in a civilized fashion. But he saw no reason for a protest
demonstration to hinder a presidential visit.
Peres is scheduled to
address a gathering of some 150 local dignitaries, some of whom will brief him
on the city’s plans for the development of tourism and hi-tech.
then go to the municipal library where he will hold a story telling session with
The visit will conclude with a question and answer
session with some 200 Christian and Muslim high-school students.
president, Peres has made a point of visiting peripheral communities at least
once a month. He has also been careful to give consideration to minority
communities when touring the country, and has visited not only Arab towns, but
also Arab villages.
Peres is conscious that while equality for Arab
citizens may be enshrined in law, it seldom finds expression in deed. He is keen
to reverse this situation and is quietly lobbying for the country’s Arab
citizens to get a better deal.
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