The story went on to say that, “Bennett met with United Arab List Chairman Mansour Abbas Sunday, leading members of his party to believe that a government may be formed ‘this week,’ ending Israel’s political deadlock after four elections in under two years.”
The United Arab List, also known as Raam, headed by Mansour Abbas is an Israeli Arab “Islamic movement” party that comes from the same broad realm of political Islam that Hamas does, except that it is nonviolent; recognizes Israel; and is focused on getting Israeli Arabs — particularly Muslim Bedouins — more resources, more police and more jobs for their towns and neighborhoods in Israel, just the way ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israeli parties do.
Abbas had broken away from the coalition of Israeli Arab parties — the Joint List, which is more focused on Palestinian nationalism — and won four seats on his own to push his agenda. And since neither Netanyahu’s coalition nor the opposition coalition that was emerging, led by Lapid and Bennett, had enough votes to form a government, Abbas’s four seats made him the kingmaker of Israeli politics. Netanyahu tried to court him at first, but a small openly racist, anti-Arab faction in Bibi’s coalition (Bibi’s Proud Boys) refused to sit in a cabinet with Israeli Arabs.
That is what gave this emerging opposition national unity coalition an opportunity to put together a broad government that for the first time ever would have included right-wing pro-settler Zionist parties, left-wing secular progressive parties and a pro-Islamist Israeli Arab party — and possibly, eventually, even secular Arab parties.
It would have broken the mold of Israeli politics forever. And that is why the local Jan. 6-style opponents — in Israel and Hamas — were determined to blow it up.
Otherwise, it might lead to more progress and integration between Jews and Arabs, and attempts to address unemployment and humiliation, especially among Israeli Arab youth, and not to aggravate them.
Governing matters. And who leads a government matters — especially in relations between Israeli Jews and Arabs. Think about this: During the pandemic, in March 2020, Haaretz reported that it was Israeli Arab medical workers who were essential for enabling Israel’s Jewish citizens to survive the coronavirus. “According to official figures … 17 percent of Israel’s physicians, 24 percent of its nurses and 47 percent of its pharmacists are Arabs,” it noted.