A beneficial wind of change in Greece, Spain, Israel – and Britain?

the joint list logo

After reading a cutting from a neighbour’s Observer the writer learnt that, in Israel, four largely Arab-Israeli parties have merged and – with the name of the Joint List (above) – are gathering increased support. This party is predicted to win 3 seats in the election and would then become the third largest part after Likud and the Labour Zionist Union. Today, a Surrey reader sent an article from the New York Times: ”Arab Alliance Rises as Force in Israeli Elections” by Diaa Hadid in Ibillin, Israel.

ayman odehAyman Odeh [right], the leader of the Joint List, made a good impression in late February on Israel’s popular Channel 2, during the only debate of the election season. It was described as a breakthrough moment for Mr. Odeh, a lawyer from Haifa who has never served in Parliament but is now likely to be a power broker in forming Israel’s next government.

We read that in Israel this year, Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, campaigned to raise the percentage of votes required to enter Parliament, threatening the survival of four small Arab parties, so they decided to unite.

The move has energized many of Israel’s 1.7 million Arab citizens, whose participation rate in elections had been decreasing.

Mr. Odeh has indicated he will support Mr. Herzog of the centre-left Zionist Union if he manages to oust Mr. Netanyahu and is changing the tone of Arab politics with a vow to work with Jewish allies to achieve equality for his community. He quotes Martin Luther King Jr. and Palestinian poetry as he preaches coexistence with the Jewish majority. He told high school students on March 7 in Ibillin, an Arab town in the hills of the Galilee:

“We want to throw our weight as a people into politics. We want to build institutions for our people . . . We need to extend bridges to the Jewish community. Martin Luther King fought for blacks, and democratic whites were with him.”

Amal Jamal, a professor of political science at Tel Aviv University said that though the war in Gaza was very painful and bloody, “There’s a feeling that the Israeli reality is changing, and that the united Arab list can change the political map in Israel and so from that, there’s optimism.”

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Posted on March 16, 2015, in Admirable politician, Democracy, Government, Planning, Public relations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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