Israelis hosted Palestinians in their sukkah in a show of local coexistence. 

Some one hundred Israelis and Palestinians gathered in the sukkah of Oded Revivi, the Mayor of Efrat and chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, in what was described as a “celebration of coexistence” in defiance of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which arrested four Palestinians for attending the event last year.

Palestinian leaders from towns in the Gush Etzion area attended the event hosted by Revivi at his home in Efrat, along with Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, IDF Head of the Judea and Samaria Division Brigadier General Nir Aran, and Commander Morris Chen, head of the local police district.

The highlight of the event was a musical ensemble of Muslims and Jews playing music that fused both traditions, Israel National News reported.

After last year’s arrests, Revivi did not reveal the identities of the Palestinian participants.

Revivi stated that Sukkot was an ideal time to host such a gathering, since the Jewish holiday requires extraordinary measures such as living in a temporary dwelling booth called a sukkah for a week. Peace too, Revivi explained, requires extraordinary steps.

“First, we must have peace locally between neighbors and only then will we be able to foster national reconciliation,” Revivi said, according to INN.

Addressing his Palestinian guests, Revivi said, “you are heroes and I salute your bravery for coming here today. It should not be taken for granted that this event is happening for the second year in row, after the outrageous Palestinian Authority arrests last year.”

“We cannot allow those who prefer separation over coexistence to prevail, we must continue to break down the imaginary walls that separate us and continue to build bridges between our two communities,” he underscored.

“We will only have peace once we have good neighborly relations,” Revivi told Breitbart Jerusalem.

“Instead of counting Jews in Judea like sinful calories, the international community should be looking to us to learn about coexistence,” he said. “Here in our ancestral homeland, we are building bridges of peace daily.”

“The corrupt Palestinian Authority is constantly trying to silence us, but they will never succeed. Last year they arrested my Palestinian guests for the crime of drinking coffee with Jews. This year we met in secret, but we still met and will continue to meet until the voice of the large sane majority is heard loud and clear. Peace will not come through forced separation, peace will come by bringing people together, from the bottom-up,” the mayor added.

After last year’s event, four Palestinians were arrested for visiting Revivi’s sukkah and were charged with “normalization” and fraternizing with the “enemy.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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