Jerusalem (Associated Press)-The leader of an Arab Islamic party in Israel delivered a prime time speech in Hebrew on Thursday. The speech was broadcast live on major television networks, calling for Arabs to live with Jews and presenting the community’s new discoveries in an amazing way Political influence.
Mansour Abbas’s “United Arab Emirates List” won only four seats in last week’s parliamentary elections. But in Israel’s decentralized political system, his small party may decide whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to serve after the fourth indecisive election in the country in two years.
Since the election on March 23, Israelis have been following his meetings and public statements closely.
In the much-watched speech on Thursday, he did not commit to any party. Instead, he proposed a “vision of peace, mutual security, partnership, and tolerance”
He speaks fluent Hebrew against the backdrop of the tree-lined northern city of Nazareth: “It’s time to listen to each other, learn the story and find what we have in common,” he said.
Green is often associated with Islam. The Abbasid Party represents a more pragmatic faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which was inspired by the Pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.
He also called for an end to violence based on race, religion or political views. He sharply avoided any endorsements seeking to become a competitor for the next prime minister, and said that his focus is that problems such as violent crime plague Arab society and lack opportunities.
“I don’t want to be part of the group, either on the right or on the left. I am here in another group. This group elects me to serve the people and gives me the task to make demands of the Arab public.”
Arabs make up about 20% of Israel’s 9.3 million population. They have citizenship rights, including voting rights, but have long faced discrimination in housing and public services. They have close family ties with the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to a large extent identify with the cause of the Palestinians, leading many Israeli Jews to view them with suspicion.
In the last election in March 2020, the coalition of Arab political parties (joint list) including the Abbasid factions won a record 15 seats. It tried successfully to expel Netanyahu, but Netanyahu made inflammatory remarks against Arab minorities, but it was unsuccessful.
This time, Abbas broke with other Arab parties and expressed his willingness to cooperate with right-wing leaders, including Netanyahu, if it means he can ensure the interests of the Arab community, such as increasing enforcement and infrastructure Capital investment.
Netanyahu opened the door. However, considering that supporters of the Netanyahu group rely on far-right parties, including openly racist factions, this may be difficult. The Religious Zionist Party has ruled out the possibility of sitting in the government with Abbas.
No Arab political party has ever requested or invited him to participate in the Israeli government, but Abbas’ factions or the downsized “joint list” can provide outside support to form a government.
In the election last week, neither the Jewish Netanyahu group nor the opposition Netanyahu group held a majority in the Knesset, which has 120 seats.
On Monday, the country’s main ceremonial president will begin negotiations with the 13 parties elected to the parliament, requesting each recommended candidate to form a new coalition government.
At the end of the consultations, President Ruben Rivlin will designate the best candidate he believes has a chance of obtaining a majority in the parliament.
This means that Abbas can play a key role in determining who is the next prime minister or whether the country is stuck in an unprecedented fifth consecutive election.