Arab Party Leader Abbas: Israel ‘Will Remain’ Jewish State
i24 News – Prominent Israeli-Arab politician Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, on Tuesday broke with the traditional stance of Israel’s Arab parties by declaring that Israel will always be a Jewish state.
“Israel was born a Jewish state, that was the decision of the people, and the question is not what is the identity of the state — it was born this way and it will remain this way,” Abbas said in an interview with Channel 12 News commentator Mohammad Magadli
“The question is what is the status of the Arab citizen in the Jewish State of Israel. That is the question. And this challenge does not just stand in front of Mansour Abbas, but in front of the Jewish community and the Jewish citizen,” the MK continued.
Arab parties in the past have promoted the view that Israel should be a state for all citizens, including advocating for changing the Law of Return that allows Jews in the diaspora to move to Israel and acquire citizenship.
This past summer Abbas made history by joining the “change coalition” that unseated Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. In doing so, he became the first Arab party leader to join a coalition government.
From his position within the ruling coalition, he successfully pushed to increase funding for the Arab sector to tackle rampant crime and economic and social problems — the recently approved state budget includes $10 billion for the Arab sector.