Rivlin to Arab J'lem 'lynching' victim: We're sorry

Knesset speaker visits Jamal Julani in hospital, describes racism as a fire that can burn us all.

Reuven Rivlin visits Jamal Julani (photo credit: Avi Hayon)
Reuven Rivlin visits Jamal Julani
(photo credit: Avi Hayon)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin warned that racist violence is a strategic threat, while visiting Jamal Julani, the victim of last week’s beating in downtown Jerusalem, on Thursday at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
“It is hard to see you lying in the hospital because of an unimaginable, outrageous act,” Rivlin told Julani, who was released from the hospital Thursday evening. “I came here in the name of the State of Israel, in order to apologize and express anger over what happened.”
Eight teenagers were arrested this week for beating Julani almost to death just after midnight in Zion Square last Thursday. Eyewitnesses claimed that dozens of Jewish youth were involved in the attack, surrounding Julani, beating him and continuing to kick him, even after he fell unconscious to the ground.
Rivlin called for schools to discuss the attack in the beginning of the school year.
“We have reached the point where we are not educating our children that all of us, Jews and Arabs, live together,” he said. “Events like this could happen again. We are in an environment in which conflict creates the impression that violence is allowed, as opposed to argument and use of democratic tools.”
The Knesset speaker said that Likud ideological forbearer Ze’ev Jabotinsky would be appalled that some of the attackers wore shirts with the symbol of Betar, the youth movement he founded and the name of one of Jerusalem’s soccer teams.
“I came here today to say: The writing has been on the wall for a long time, and the letters are on fire and can burn us all,” Rivlin added.
“We, the government, the Knesset, schools and everyone who sees himself as a leader, are responsible for this.”