President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal visited (Thursday) the southern town of Rahat and met with the mayor, heads of Arab local authorities in the Negev and public representatives of the “Arab - Jewish war room” – which helps families affected by the war.
In his speech at the meeting, Herzog said, "We sincerely sympathize with the grief of the entire Arab public and the Bedouin society in particular," where 16 of the community's residents were murdered and 40 of them are missing.
"I tell the world that this is not a war of Jews against Muslims. It is a war between the people of light and the people of darkness, between good and evil, between doing good and doing bad, this is the war," added Herzog, whose speech was broadcast on the “Panet” channel.
"We will all continue to live together, and it is important for me to say to the entire Arab society in Israel, how much I appreciate the responsibility and the functioning of the Arab society in these difficult days."
"But we must remember that the struggle is not really a struggle of a political nature, it is about our ability to live here in a Middle East of peace, as opposed to a Middle East of bloodshed and war. This is the essence of the perception," said Herzog.
Herzog explained his words by saying: "It made no sense to enter a kibbutz like Holit and slaughter the Diala family who work there. For years they have been working there, the residents of Holit reach out to their brothers in Gaza, to their friends in Gaza, give them, help them in all kinds of ways, and their houses are burned and looted, and their families are slaughtered, and their heads are cut off, and they are taken to be captive in Gaza."
At the end of his short speech, Herzog turned to the Arab Muslim public and said: "I will make another comment that you will accept with love. What we saw on October 7th does not represent Islam. Islam is a religion with a lot of respect and sensitivity and love and brotherhood. This represents an unimaginable evil that must be eliminated ".