Knesset Speaker Apologizes to Hospitalized Victim of Jerusalem 'Lynch'

Visiting Jamal Julani, MK Reuven Rivlin says incident is 'unreasonable and outrageous' and calls on public leaders, educators to take responsibility.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin visited Wednesday the hospitalized victim of last Friday's attempted lynch in Jerusalem, offering an apology on behalf of the state of Israel.

Rivlin arrived at the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Karem on Wednesday and met with 17-year-old Jamal Julani, one of the victims of the attempted lynch on Friday, where dozens of Jewish youths attacked three young Palestinians in Jerusalem's Zion Square.

"It's hard for me to see you laying in the hospital because of an unreasonable and outrageous act," Rivlin told Julani. "I came in the name of the state of Israel, to apologize and express anger over what happened."

The Knesset Speaker said the incident was a result of a failure to educate Israel's youths, adding that it is the responsibility of public leaders and educators to see this changed.

"This evil comes from inadequate education. Unfortunately, more and more teenagers think that hate and racist violence are acceptable. Up until now we turned a blind eye," Rivlin said. "The time has come to stop being vague."

"We – the government, the Knesset and the educational system – are responsible for that, as well as anyone who views himself as a public leader."

Rivlin said that the Likud ideological precursor Ze'ev Jabotinsky would be ashamed of these actions. "Jabotinsky is turning in his grave when these youths are baring the Beitar symbol on their shirts and are supposedly acting in his name."

"I am not patronizing, but speaking as a partner," Rivlin stated. "We, Jews and Arabs, are partners of disagreements, life partners in this small country and even borders will not hide it. I came here today to say that this atmosphere is wrong; the writing was on the wall long ago and the words are burning in flames that might burn us all." 

Jerusalem's Zion Square.
Emil Salman