Some Arabs proudly mark Israel's rebirth

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 |  by Staff Writer  

The residents of a small Arab village in northern Israel have decided to openly honor the 60th anniversary of Israel's rebirth by painting the dome of their local mosque in the national colors - blue and white.

A-Taibeh Mayor Hisham Zuabi told Israel's Maariv newspaper this week that his town turned the mosque into a banner of national pride because "we are all citizens of the state of Israel."

The move comes at a time of increasing tension between Israel's Jews and Arabs, punctuated last month when an Israeli Arab from Jerusalem massacred eight young Jewish Bible students in the capital.

Arab youth from the Galilee region have also been stoning Jewish motorists with increasing frequency.

But Zuabi said he rejects such hostility, noting that Jews and Arabs are cousins, and insisted that in his town a Jew will always feel as at home as an Arab.

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