Weekly Commentary: Judgment Day for Ra'am and the Bold Experiment Coopting
Israeli Arab Party into Ruling Coalition
Dr. Aaron Lerner 5 June 2022
This Monday the Knesset is slated to vote on legislation which prevents
stripping the Israelis residing in Judea and Samaria of the rights and
benefits held by Israeli residents.
This is not new legislation. The measure has been approved by the Knesset
every five years since 1967.
But this time the opposition to the current ruling coalition - an opposition
which includes the Likud and other parties which have many supporter who
will be disenfranchised if this legislation isn't passed in the coming
weeks - is planning to unanimously opposed the bill.
To be clear, the ruling coalition has a pile of laws it wants to pass, so
there are more than enough other opportunities to paralyze the ruling
coalition without opposing this.
But at this stage of the game it would appear that Binyamin Netanyahu has so
masterfully organized his campaign that the overwhelming majority of his
audience will literally cheer for him even if the consequences of the move
is what Israelis call "burning the clubhouse down."
To be clear: that doesn't mean Netanyahu has the Knesset votes to come to
power if the ruling coalition falls apart, nor does it mean that if we find
ourselves plunged into elections that he will be able to form a coalition
after the votes are counted. It just means that many of the people hurt the
most if the legislation is blocked won't blame him for their fate.
Another group of politicians will most certainly be hurt if they play a role
in killing the legislation: Ra'am and basically any Arab party for the
The Israeli street may not have much of a stomach for a lot of the rhetoric
of Ra'am, but the operative demands Ra'am has made to date focused on
serving the practical needs of its constituents,
The Monday vote serves as crucial test of this policy.
If Ra'am fails to vote with the coalition this will be seen as proof that an
Arab party cannot be relied upon to serve within a ruling coalition.
And that would be a tragedy for all of us.
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