President Isaac Herzog and his wife on Wednesday visited the city of Umm al-Fahm, where they met with the mayor, Samir Sobhi, and received an overview of the problems troubling Arab society.
The Kul al-Arab news website reported that President Herzog said that he is a great believer in Arab society and its right to live in security, stressed the role of young people in the future leadership and noted the importance of integrating women into this leadership.
Activists of the Balad Party and of youth movements staged a demonstration against Herzog's visit to Umm al-Fahm and waved Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flags in front of him.
Zahar Jabarin, secretary of the Balad party, told the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed website that "it is unacceptable that the city of Umm al-Fahm would allow such visits, and therefore we called to demonstrate against the reception of the President of the occupying country."
He added, "It does not befit the city of Umm al-Fahm and its history that Herzog, who has a representative role, should visit it without there being a demonstration against him. We oppose the visit and there is no benefit in it since he only came to beautify Israel."
"He was in the American Congress three days ago, and said that the Palestinian people are terrorists and criminals, and now he is coming to visit the 'terrorists and criminals' to improve his image. This is unacceptable," said Jabarin.
The secretariat of the Balad Party condemned the visit, calling it "an invalid attempt to remove the image of extremism of the Israeli establishment towards Arab society."