First Time: Arab Ma’an (Yachad) Party Formed, Recognizes Jewish State, Hopes to Join Next Government
For the first time ever, a new Arab party is being formed that recognizes Israel as the Jewish State and aspires to be part of the next government.
“There are enough people who represent those who are angry; we want to make an impact at the cabinet table,” said Muhammad Darawshe, leader of the new Ma’an Party. Ma’an is Arabic for “Yachad” in Hebrew, “Together” in English.
Darawshe will run as a candidate for the Knesset and demand equality between Jews and Arabs in civil rights; he said he will fight for an equality law based on Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
“We came to provide an alternative political home,” Darawshe said at a news conference held Sunday via Zoom. “Our ultimate goal is to be a joint Arab-Jewish list that can be a source of influence in politics and in the Knesset.”
Darawshe holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Hartford University and a Bachelor of Arts from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He is considered an expert on Jewish-Arab relations and is a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute and a Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society at the Givat Haviva Educational Center. Darawshe has also been a Leadership Fellow at the New Israel Fund, which is known for its support of the international Boycott, Defense and Sanctions (BDS) economic war against Israel.
He has previously served as co-director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, as elections campaign manager for the Democratic Arab Party and later for the United Arab List. He has spoken at the US Congress, the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s Presidential Conference, the European Parliament, NATO, and the World Economic Forum, among other venues.
In 2009, Darawshe participated in the drafting of Israel’s National Coexistence Education policy.
Darawshe resides in Iksal with his wife and four children, and where he served as a city council member in 2008.