Dr. Ramadan Dabash
Dr. Ramadan DabashHezki Baruch

Mukhtar and Chairman of the Community Council of the neighborhood of Tzur Baher in Jerusalem, Dr. Ramadan Dabash, arrived at the Knesset today to urge MKs to sign a bill commemorating the spiritual luminary and first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Dabash was asked what causes a Mukhtar hailing from a neighborhood that has produced terrorists to act for the commemoration of Rabbi Kook.

“We need peace,” he answered. “We all live in the same state, under the sovereignty of the State of Israel, and we need [the MKs] to be concerned about all the populations and religions in Israel.”

In effect, Dr. Dabash is acting to advance a bill commemorating Rabbi Kook and his efforts spearheaded by MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home). “For me, Rabbi Kook is a figure of peace, and one can learn much from him. When I saw his writings, I understood that he was concerned with minorities, and we all have the same God. Rabbi Kook is a man of correct Zionism, and doesn’t conflict with Islam.”

In any event, many terrorists came out of Tzur Baher. Don’t your actions contradict the character of the neighborhood?

“We’re not looking for how many terrorists came out of Tzur Baher. This is why I’m here, so that the situation won’t deteriorate. The terrorists don’t represent anyone, including themselves. We encourage peace and pursue peace. I oppose and condemn anyone who commits a crime, and it doesn’t matter if he’s Jewish or Arab. I’m here to stop the bloodshed in the holy city.”

Rabbi Kook represents Religious Zionism. Do you connect with that idea?

“I connect with Rabbi Kook’s idea. Rabbi Kook and Religious Zionism recognize and believe in peace and human rights and coexistence. The character of Rabbi Kook is a vision, and we must go on according to it.”

I am accompanying you here in the Knesset, and I see MKs surprised and confused by your request.

“For MKs, it’s something new for an Arab Muslim from eastern Jerusalem to be talking about Rabbi Kook. We must learn from the past, and talk is not enough - we must act.”

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