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Rivlin wants more support for Israel's Arabs, including construction of new city

WJC, Israel's President Reuben Rivlin has lent his backing to plans to build a new town to accommodate Israel’s growing Arab minority.

Rivlin met on Thursday at his residence with 50 Arab local council heads and mayors and discussed integration and development, according to his office. The president called for the creation of a new Arab city, and for schools to “continue to deepen the integration of the Arabic language in all our children’s educations.”

“Today the Arab minority is no longer such a minority, and there is a need to realign the system of local government to include balance between all sectors of Israeli society,” Rivlin said.

The President’s Residence would serve as an address for the Arab community to place problems on the national agenda, he promised. “At the President’s Residence, teams will be on hand to help you and take care of any problems that will arise,” Rivlin said during the meeting. “I cannot promise that I’ll be a successful contractor for this, but we all have children and we need to act for their future.”

The mayors agreed to set up a working group managed by the president’s Office to seek out solutions. Mazen Ghanaian, the mayor of Sakhnin and the head of the committee for Arab municipalities, called for Rivlin’s help in addressing unemployment. “We have come to ask for your intervention, mainly in the growing unemployment among Arab men, which is a phenomenon plaguing all parts of the country,” Ghanaian said. “We, as mayors, are facing claims made by citizens who demand education and employment.”
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President Rivlin meets Israel's ambassadors to Latin America

The growing economic relations between Israel and Latin America is a source of pride to the Israeli economy and testament to its strength as a hothouse of innovation and entrepreneurship.

President Reuven Rivlin met at the President's Residence with 20 Israeli ambassadors to Latin America, both currently serving and newly appointed.

The President thanked the ambassadors for their efforts and said, "I salute you, who serve as our representatives in states where such representation is so needed, at times under difficult conditions and far from home. The people of Israel owe you a debt of gratitude. The growing economic relations between Israel and Latin America is a source of pride to the Israeli economy and testament to its strength as a hothouse of innovation and entrepreneurship. I view this meeting as a unique opportunity for the State of Israel to thank each of you for the work you do in the countries in which you represent our country."

Modi Ephraim, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry's Division for Central and South America and Head of the Political Directorate, presented the ambassadors, saying: "The ambassador here serve in the Latin American continent. This is a friendly continent, with which we have had good relations throughout the years. There are however several countries which are more critical. There are many anti-Israeli initiatives and unfortunately also manifestations of antisemitism which we had not witnessed before. We are striving to improve Israel's position in the region, and have been accepted as an observer in the Pacific Alliance, a growing economic bloc in the continent. Israel is today a leader in innovation and cooperation, in the fields of agriculture and security."
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