Mansour Abbas has delivered a highly conciliatory address that was broadcast to the entire Israeli public. He spoke in Hebrew (with the exception of his opening line) and never used the word “Palestinian” or criticized Israel.
Abbas is an Islamist member of the Knesset and head of Ra’am, the main Arab-Israeli political party. (Ra’am is part of the United Arab List political faction.) In his speech, the 46-year-old leader called for reconciliation and cooperation between Israeli Jews and Arabs.
His speech received a great deal of coverage in the Israeli and international media. Some right-wing Israeli politicians immediately announced they would never be part of an Israeli coalition government that included an Arab party. As for Arab Israelis, Abbas received pushback from some in his own community. If Ra’am (United Arab List) does become part of a ruling coalition government, it will be a first for an Arab Israeli party.
Quote: “I, Mansour Abbas, a man of the Islamic Movement, am a proud Arab and Muslim, a citizen of the state of Israel, who heads the leading, biggest political movement in Arab society, courageously champion a vision of peace, mutual security, partnership and tolerance between the peoples,” he said. “I reach out a hand in my name and that of my colleagues and on behalf of the public that voted for me — to create an opportunity for coexistence in this holy land, blessed by three religions and of two peoples.”
Sources: WIkipedia, The Times of Israel
Watch Mansour Abbas delivering his speech (English translation) [6:49]. ►
Read “In speech to Jewish Israel, Abbas crowns himself new leader of country’s Arabs.” ►
Read “Israel’s Election Ended in Another Mess. Could an Arab Party Break the Deadlock?” ►
Read “Ra’am leader said to face internal pushback after urging political cooperation.” ►
Read “Ra’am’s guiding charter backs Palestinian right of return, calls Zionism racist.” ►
Photo: Middle East Eye
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