Israel’s New Government to Include Arab, Islamist, Druze Ministers

Mansour Abbas (Abir Sultan / Associated Press)
Abir Sultan / Associated Press

The new Israeli government that will be sworn in on Monday is set to include an Arab Party, Ra’am, in a significant role for the first time.

Moreover, the new government will also include a minister from the Druze minority community.

It is an outcome almost unthinkable several weeks ago, when mixed Jewish-Arab cities were wracked by riots instigated by the Palestinian terrorist groups who attacked Israel. But the new coalition government holds the potential for reconciliation.

The most important development is the role of Ra’am, and its leader, Mansour Abbas. The party holds four seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and is crucial to the new government’s narrow 61-seat majority.

It is an Islamist party, but as Farah Swellam writes at the Jerusalem Post, it does not advocate for the imposition of shariah (Islamic law) on the surrounding society. Its main achievement thus far has been to secure funding and recognition for Bedouin communities.

Ra’am’s participation in the government is controversial because the party officially opposes Zionism — Jewish national self-determination — and supports the so-called Palestinian “right of return,” which would end Israel’s existence. But it also recognizes Israeli sovereignty and broke away from other Islamist factions that do not recognize the state of Israel. The new government will grant it one deputy minister, who will work in the office of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The government will have another Arab, Essawi Frej of the left-wing Meretz party, as regional cooperation minister. In addition, the new government will have a Druze deputy finance minister, Hamed Amar, who rose to the position after it was rejected by Eli Avidar, a member of the Knesset from Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

There is no telling whether such a diverse governing coalition can long survive. But one thing is clear: Israel is no “apartheid” state.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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