An Islamist group suddenly became important in the Israeli election
Global New News Desk –
While threatening the Arab community’s overall bargaining power, the right decision of the time also paved the way for the party to become a ‘kingmaker’.
For the fourth time in two years, the same problem exists in Israel – with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu crying out for the seats he needs to stay in power despite winning a majority after the election.
Neither the Prime Minister nor his opponents actually got the absolute majority to go to power.
Meanwhile, an Islamist Arab group called Raam (also known as the United Arab List) has become the kingmaker.
The party has won five seats in the by-elections, giving Mr Netanyahu a chance to stay in power or step down.
Ram: Wonderful Kingmaker
Led by conservative Muslim Mansour Abbas, the Ram faction is an Islamist group formed in the religious ideology of Hamas, which rules Gaza in Palestine.
Founded in 1996, the party has won seats in the Israeli parliament since its inception.
However, the country’s electoral authorities banned them from running in the 2009 elections.
The Supreme Court later overturned the ban.
In 2020, Israel was part of a coalition of Arab political parties – the Arab League – which won an unprecedented 15 seats in parliament.
However, Ram left the alliance on January 26 this year to contest the elections alone.
The person behind the team
Mansoor Abbas, 48, is the main figure in the party.
He is now at the center of politics at a crucial time in Israel’s political history.
He is a graduate dentist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Although he later earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Haifa.
In 2019, he was nominated leader of the United Arab List and was elected to parliament as part of that alliance.
However, in an attempt to increase contacts with Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, he also created divisions within the party.
Arab politics in Israel
Of Israel’s nearly nine million people, there are about nineteen million Arabs who remained on Israel’s borders in 1948.
About 7.5 million Palestinians fled their homes or were expelled.
Although many Arabs who are citizens of Israel prefer to call themselves Palestinians or Israeli Palestinians, others refer to themselves as Israeli Arabs.
The majority of Israel’s Arabs believe in Sunni ideology, and the second largest group is Christian.
Ten percent of Israel’s Muslims come from Arab Bedouin tribes.
They took part in the 1949 elections.
Arab political parties have been vocal in their support for equal rights for Arabs in the country, as well as their support for Palestine.
Will Ram join any alliance now?
Last year, Mr Netanyahu’s opponent, Benny Gantz, rejected the idea of forming a coalition government with Arab parties.
Earlier, Netanyahu himself had ruled out an alliance with Ram.
Although his tone in the campaign was soft.
Now, if they can form an alliance, both Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas will benefit.
However, reporters say it is not yet clear how they will work together with Netanyahu’s other partners.
A BBC correspondent in Jerusalem, however, says Ram could agree to support Mr Netanyahu even if he is not in the coalition.
But whatever the deal, Mr Abbas is now convinced that the bargaining power is in his hands.
He says he will make the best decision for Israel’s Arab population.
Although many are still not sure about this. Jerusalem rights activist Itaf Awad says the alliance between Likud and Ram will not be good for the Palestinians. Sources, BBC
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