Tuesday, December 28, 2021

By Daled Amos

Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra'am Party and member of the ruling coalition government in Israel made waves last week when he publicly declared that he recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

During an interview with Mohammad Magadli of Channel 12 News, Abbas said:

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.

Israellycool posted the video:

The question is: just how seriously should we take Abbas's apparent recognition of Israel as a Jewish state?
After all, back in December 1988...

After a two-day meeting with five prominent American Jews here, a P.L.O. delegation led by Mr. Arafat said in a joint statement that the Palestinian parliament in exile last month had ''accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region'' and ''declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.''

It became evident that Arafat neither accepted the existence of Israel nor rejected the use of terrorism, so it is understandable that some may be wary.

One indication of how difficult it may be for some to accept what Abbas said is that this is not even the first time that Abbas has recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

In a December 17 article on the Haaretz website, Michael Milshtein wrote:

Three weeks ago, United Arab List leader Dr. Mansour Abbas dropped one of the most dramatic political bombshells that’s been heard in Israeli discourse for some years. Astonishingly, it attracted very limited attention among both the Jewish or Arab publics. In the course of a tempestuous interview in the studio of the Nazareth-based Kul al-Arab news site, which addressed the UAL’s integration in the coalition, Abbas said, “Whether we like it or not, Israel is a Jewish state, and my central goal is to define the status of the country’s Arab citizens. I view myself as a citizen in the full sense of the word, who deserves to receive full civil rights.” [emphasis added]

That means Abbas originally came out with his recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in late November, before his interview with Magadli, without being noticed

And Ruthie Blum notes that following his statement in his interview with Magadli, Abbas doubled down in a post on Facebook:

In a lengthy post on Facebook, he reiterated what he had said at the conference, writing that Arabs need to distinguish between “desires and reality,” and not be fooled by the slogan “a state for all its citizens,” which is “employed to exploit people’s emotions without telling them that they’re talking about the state of Israel.”

The fact is, he emphasized, “legally and demographically, the State of Israel is a Jewish state.” [emphasis added]

We can argue over what Abbas is up to, but this was definitely no slip of the tongue.

Maybe he was reacting in response to a member of his own party.
JNS reported that on December 20, Ibrahim Hijazi -- the secretary-general of the Ra'am Party -- among other things called for the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be erased:

Ibrahim Hijazi made the remarks during in an interview that aired on the the Nazareth-based Kul al-Arab news station, just one day prior to Ra’am head Mansour Abbas’s declaration that Israel will remain a Jewish state. The interview was translated and first reported on by the Arab desk of Israeli NGO Im Tirtzu.

Hijazi stated that “the one who makes decision on large matters, nationalistic and ideological, is not Ibrahim [Hijazi] or Mansour [Abbas]—it’s the Ra’am platform.”

...Hijazi also asserted that the Arabs, not Jews, are indigenous to the land. [emphasis added]

Maybe Abbas offered his recognition of Israel in order to deflect attention from a claim made by a leader in his own party, whose own statement could potentially cause embarrassment.

There is no way to know for sure.
Just as there is no way to know for sure why Abbas originally made his statement in November.

But back in November, Caroline Glick outlined multiple ties that Mansour Abbas apparently had to Hamas.
Could Abbas have been reacting to that?

In an I24News article on Abbas's interview with Magadli, there is an unrelated embedded video discussing an offer Abbas made in the beginning of November to take $32 million earmarked for the Arab community -- and offer it to the "Jewish Ultra-Orthodox sector" in what he claimed was consistent with the policy of the Ra'am party to help all of the weak sectors of society. Some attacked the move as an attempt to drive a wedge between the Orthodox parties and the Likud, led by Netanyahu. When asked for his take on Abbas's motivation, Gil Hoffman -- chief political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post -- suggests:

Abbas is right now, very, very angry at Netanyahu. He blames Netanyahu for reports that there have been over the last week about reported ties between Ra'am and Hamas that Abbas vigorously denies and this is his way of getting revenge against Netanyahu.

Could his first statement about recognizing Israel have similarly been a reaction to those claims accusing him of ties to Hamas?


But on a practical level, the fact remains that Mansour Abbas has shown an ability to work within the Israel government, receiving a willingness for cooperation from unexpected areas. 

For example, while the right-wing Religious Zionism party head MK Bezalel Smotrich refused to help form a coalition for Netanayahu that included Abbas, in 2020, Smotrich did help Abbas as transportation minister to resolve traffic infrastructure problems near the Israeli Arab towns of Nazareth and Kafr Kanna -- proving once again that politics makes strange bedfellows.

Which is what Naftali Bennett's coalition seems to be all about.

And if the head of the Islamist movement in Israel can work together with a right-wing Zionist, maybe there could be potential for some other positive developments as well.

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum David Miller Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive