Arab leader’s gamble to play kingmaker in Israel is paying off

By | January 17, 2022

The Associated Press reports:

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. [Continue reading…]

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