Oct 12, 2008 19:19 | Updated Oct 12, 2008 19:34
Olmert: Israeli Arabs have suffered from discrimination
Oct. 12, 2008
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday afternoon met with Shawki Hatib, chairman
of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee and with some of the Arab MKs, after
leaders of the Arab sector presented a petition calling on the prime minister
to reexamine the decision of Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz regarding the
October 2000 riots.
Mazuz decided not to put to trial any of the officials involved in the riots,
in which 13 Arab citizens were killed.
Olmert said that he couldn't and did not intend to change the decision reached
However, the prime minister said there was no doubt that there has been
discrimination against the Arab population in Israel.
"I have decided that I must change this situation. The October 2000 events
became a significant milestone in the relations between Arabs and Jews in the
state of Israel. You came here today to ask me to look into the decisions of
the Attorney-General. I will not do that - I do not have the authority to do
it, but I do have the right to share your pain and sorrow, a right that I will
not give up," he said.
Olmert said he thought the Israeli people share the pain of the Arab families
over losing their loved ones during the October riots.
"The State of Israel is a Jewish state, but it is also democratic. This means
that every citizen, even if he is not Jewish, needs to feel that he belongs
here," the prime minister said at the meeting.