The discussion consisted of a series of sessions on Israeli-Arabs and the growing importance of this minority of contemporary issues in the region. The discussion is the second in the series on the emergence of Arab Israelis. Michael Brenner, who is the facility director of Israel studies at the American University, moderated the conversation. The session was carried out on the Zoom Video platform. The Zoom video program is an application that enables live conversations from various locations. The key participants were Salmon Elbedour from Howard University and Morad Elsana, a professor of Arab history. The audience comprised the managing directors Center for Israel Studies at the American University, current students of Arab studies, recent alumna, faculties friends of the center, and members of the greater Washington Jewish forum on Israeli-Arab issues.
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Overview of the Discussion
The first speaker (Salmon Elbedour) evaluated the perspective of Israeli-Arab and their emergence in election matters. The speaker believed the group was marginalized. However, the emergence of the Arab Joint List is influenced by democracy and pluralism (Lewin 2020, p. 9). These variables are buffering systems for minority Arabs and continuously enhance each other. The rise of the Arab Joint List as a power broker in the Israeli apart affairs reflects the theory of success between democracy and pluralism. Salmon Elbedour listed cultural and community factors as reasons for the strong voting patterns of the minority group. Based on these factors, the speaker argued that the recognition of Jerusalem, which the panelist tagged (the deal of the century), Na’ama’s release from Russia, and ties with Muslim countries motivated the emergence of the Arab Joint List. With the release of the Jewish prisoner in Russia, the silence of the government for another Israeli–Arab held in Turkey surprised the Arab community. The speeches of the Prime Minister referring to Israeli citizens as Jewish and Non-Jews propelled the new voting pattern. The government is accused of index racism and incitement against the Israeli-Arabs. The speaker’s view on the resurgence of the Arab Joint List seems to buttress the burden of a failed National government or a personal vendetta from leaders of minority groups.
The second participant, Morad Elsana, discussed the ‘role of the Arab Joint List in the Israeli elections’. The panelist argued that the Israeli Joint List might have two agendas, and it explains their recent dominance in election matters. First, the group wants to alter the traditional balance between Jewish religious election patterns. Second, the group wants to belong to the scheme of events in forming an Israeli government. Morad Elsana’s reasons for the emergence of the Arab Joint List differed from the views of the first speaker. The speaker believed the need for change is the first reason for the group’s reemergence in election matters. Second, the continuous stay of the current government is influenced by the move to change the equation of leadership in Israel. Based on the prolonged stay in government, the current administration disenfranchised Arab Israelis. Other factors supporting the reemergence of the Joint List are the nation’s state law, Kaminsky law, and the Family reunification law. The next component that hastened the choice to contend with a Joint List has been that the widening rift between Jews and Arabs. The aim to exclude the Arab people from the public and boost the Jewish norms of the nation is another reason for the Arab Joint List (Hitman 2018, p. 150). The prevailing mood in the Arab society has been a feeling of genuine danger to Arabs as a minority category (Cohen and Cohen 2018, p. 167). Arabs shared their anxieties about this danger to their federal identity and the Palestinian state (Cohen-Almagor and Wattad 2019, p. 15). Thus, the joint-list platform stresses the choice to unite forces into a political reaction as a response against racism.
Event Analysis and Reflection
Based on the discussions during the event, one can conclude that the rapid development of new governmental associations embracing a vast selection of ideologies and styles of activity, from separatism or radicalism to negotiation, presented a challenge to efforts at classification. A method of summarizing the governmental forces active in the Arab minority in Israel would be to examine their activities in a variety of fields and perspectives. The action of such political associations concentrated on the three fronts, which include civil and spiritual. A historical investigation proves that the development of all political groups is activated by dynamic realism. These associations differ in the burden it carries with federal identity, civic society, faith, and the minority tag. The cultural gaps and controversies surrounding the verge of problems to represent triggered a conceptual and functional division within the Arab Joint List. If Israeli-Arabs wish to integrate into national issues, the group should provide political agents to propel the idea. However, the minority selected individuals who aim at the Arab States of Palestine to deny the self-determination of a Jewish country. One constraint of the Israeli elections, the group represented social anxiety over the Arab League for a combined candidacy. A poll showed 85 percent of Arab respondents supported the Arab parties operating at a Joint List. The Israeli -Arab minority wanted a list that would advance civil goals and the Palestinian objectives. However, such a movement interrupts the belief systems of their Israeli youth. Therefore, any group that supports the Palestinian goals will be considered as an outsider.
Political representation of the Arab populace attained a historical degree because of the current elections. This accomplishment, along with the gain from Arab voter turnout in contrast to previous elections, represents the hope of the minority. The Joint Arab List pursued a cause of individuality and contended the importance of collaborative ideas against the Northern division of the Islamic Movement that exerts a boycott of these elections. However, a challenging issue within this group is the capability of its constituent members to operate in a concerted frame regardless of personal and ideological differences. For many practical purposes, the leader of the Arab Joint List has failed to achieve its mandate. The reflection of the discussions shows that the average Israeli does not support the rise of an Israeli-Arab wing. Although the grudge of the minority group may be genuine, however, the alliance with Muslim countries and their common goal of a Palestinian state negates the belief of the Jewish culture. The group must quickly adopt resolutions of a common civil form or carry the terrorist tag as labeled by the current administration. The cohesion among Arab voters may be the rattling point for other political parties. As a result, the gap between Jewish and Non-Jewish citizens will create civil and political tension.
- Cohen, Amichai, and Stuart Cohen. 2018. ”The Dynamics of Israel’s National Security Constitution since 1948.” Journal in Israel Studies 23 (3): 166-180. 10.2979/israelstudies.23.3.22
- Cohen-Almagor, Raphael, and Mohammed WaWattpad2019. ”The Legal Status of Israeli Arabs/Palestinians in Israel.” GNLU Law & Society Review 1 (1): 1-28.
- Hitman, Gadi. 2018. ”The Joint Arab List for the Knesset: United, Shared or Split?” Middle East Policy 25 (4): 147-159. 10.1111/mepo.12384
- Lewin, Alyza. 2020. ”Zionism – The Integral Component of Jewish Identity that Jews are Historically Pressured to Shed.” Journal of Israel Affairs 1 (1): 1-18.