Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Ra'am party Chairman MK Mansour Abbas, October 4, 2021.

(Written by Nael Zoabi, a Muslim educator and entrepreneur)

Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas’ statements about Israel being a Jewish, democratic state was a foundational one and sparked hope that despite everything, those in the Arab sector who feel a connection with the country and want to integrate will be able to do so.

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Of course, the regular voices broke out in a chorus of opposition to the shred of hope that Abbas inspired. The screams and the fury were stronger than last week’s torrential rains. The people shouting in unholy rage were the same ones who opposed the peace agreements, the Abraham Accords, the one who insist we live by our swords, since we will always be at war.

Mansour Abbas’ important comments reminded me of 1980, when the Arab leadership in Israel was sober and realistic – a leadership that recognized Israel as a Jewish, democratic state. That leadership grew out of power, understanding, and a recognition of reality and respect for the nation and its symbols. MK Sif a-Din al-Zoabi, from the United Arab Party, was the first member of the community to insist that Arab Israelis should stand up and be full partners in the Jewish state of Israel.

Abbas is striding brilliantly and with confidence on a path the leader Sif a-Din al-Zoabi laid out wisely and courageously. This path sees things as they are, accepts, espouses a dignified life, and eschews the torturous path of endless death that Mansour’s friends set out and followed until they woke up.

Then, like now, the professional warmongers called the Arab leadership “traitors,” “collaborators,” and “anti-patriots.” They slandered them and slung mud, accused them of turning their backs on the Arab nation, and if they could they would have put the brave and honorable Arab leadership on trial for treason.

The serial “rejecters,” the ones who stood in opposition then and still oppose, are the main obstacle to the possibility of the Arab sector integrating into Israeli society as equals.

Those of us who want to join hands with the citizens of Israel without forgoing our national identity, honor the national symbols and the country’s laws, embrace Mansour Abbas and hope he will influence the three MKs of his Ra’am faction to follow him on the new path he has chosen.

Abbas and his part are not my cup of tea, but at the same time, as common sense overcomes the stale reality of blood and fire and columns of smoke. The party leader deserves applause and congratulations – may this enlightenment be the start of a journey, not a one-time event. I pray to God that your words, Abbas, are from the heart and from true belief, because these are the ways of truth. Welcome, Abbas, on board the train of sanity, the human society of reason, those who seek to integrate, and want to connect.

{Reposted from IsraelHayom website}

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