But 47-year-old Abbas, a dentist and leader of the United Arab List (Ra’am), a small Islamist party, was the kingmaker whose support allowed the new government to form and gain a majority in the Knesset. An even bigger irony of these strange bedfellows is that Ra’am — the first Arab party included in a governing coalition — might very well make Bennett’s government a transformational one. If Abbas’ gamble pans out — among other guarantees, the $16 billion he secured for investment in the Arab sector during the coalition agreements will certainly help — he could be the first of many Arab power brokers in a drastically more democratic Jewish state.
Living in Israel for 20 years as a graduate student and academic between 1995 and 2015, I experienced several election cycles and each time I was exhilarated by the dynamism of Israel’s democracy — for Jewish Israelis. Among Arab friends, all graduates of Israeli universities, I…

Read more…

Share.

Comments are closed.