Trailblazing Arab lawmaker shakes up Israeli politics

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Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra'am party, leads a faction meeting, in the Israeli parliament on April 19, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ???? ???? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??"? ??"?

AP News: Mansour Abbas broke a longstanding taboo when he led his Arab party into Israel’s governing coalition last year. The bold move appears to be paying dividends.

Abbas, a once obscure politician, is the linchpin of the shaky union, securing hefty budgets and favorable policies for his constituents and even winning an audience with the king of Jordan.

“We are equal partners the whole way, part of the coalition, for the first time in the state of Israel,” Abbas recently told the Israeli news site Ynet. “We are compromising to solve the Arab society’s problems.”

Abbas’ pragmatic approach has secured funding for housing, electricity and crime-fighting in Israel’s traditionally neglected Arab sector. He also has not been afraid to confront his partners to get what he needs.

But he also is being forced to perform a delicate balancing act between the desires of his Arab voters and his Jewish coalition partners. His every move is being watched by his constituents, whose stake in the country’s democracy could falter if he fails to bring long-term changes. Read More …

Opinion: Four Israeli elections in two years left the country in political chaos. Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, under investigation for graft, began courting the Arab Ra’am Party vote. As Israel descended into a political logjam, Mansour Abbas emerged as the antidote to the chaos.

Ahead of elections in March 2021, Abbas broke Ra’am off from a union of Arab parties and hinted the faction would sit in a coalition under the right terms, no matter who was leading it.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held unprecedented talks with Abbas on joining forces, reportedly promising him a list of policies that would deal with rampant crime and housing issues in the Arab community. But Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist allies opposed cooperation with Abbas and the talks collapsed.

When legislator Yair Lapid was then asked to form a government, he picked up where Netanyahu left off and Ra’am became a key member of the current coalition.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Today Mansour Abbas is a king maker. On July 19, 2021 Mansour Abbas let the world know his intentions:

Ra’am declares Temple Mount ‘sole property of Muslims’

The Islamic Movement and its political wing, the Ra’am Party, criticized Sunday the government’s decision to allow Jewish worshippers to visit the Temple Mount and the Al-Asqa Mosque complex on Tisha B’Av.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque, in its 144 dunams [35 acres], is solely the property of Muslims, and no one else has any right to it,” the Islamist party said in response to the ascent of hundreds of Jewish worshipers to the site where the Second Temple stood before its fall by the Roman Empire.” source

Politicians threatened with losing power often make bad alliances.

On April 3, 2021 Bezalel Smotrich, Religious Zionism Chairman said this: “forming a government that relies on Ra’am and Mansour Abbas will be a catastrophe and a cry for the generations, and we will not allow such a government to be established.”

A cry for generations is an understatement. A cry for millennia as the ancestors of ancient bloodlines clash.

” … Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Malachi 1:2-3

The powder keg of the world’s oldest blood feud is just waiting for the right spark. According to our Bible, the battle cry was been written 3000 years ago:

““Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”