Conference Call: Israel's Arab Minority and the 2019 General...

Conference Call: Israel's Arab Minority and the 2019 General Elections | April 15

April 15, 2019

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Israel's 2019 general elections saw a sharp decline in Arab voter turnout, despite intensive efforts by civil society organizations and local leaders to urge Arab citizens to vote. The next Knesset will have an estimated 10 seats for the two Arab-led lists, down from the 13 seats that the Joint List held as the 20th Knesset's third-largest party. These results follow a divisive campaign in which the legitimacy of Arab political participation became a wedge issue. This and the breakup of the Joint List prompted discourse in Arab society about the role of political leadership and whether to participate in the democratic process.

Why did so many Arab citizens sit out this election? How does this campaign cycle reflect recent developments in Jewish-Arab relations, and what do the outcomes suggest for Arab political participation going forward? What are the implications for Israeli democracy?

Join us to discuss these questions and more on a conference call briefing on Monday, April 15 at 12pm ET with Prof. Mordechai Kremnizer, Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, and Dr. Thabet Abu Ras, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Initiatives.

Conference Call Details: 
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 12 pm ET
Dial-in information provided upon RSVP

Please RSVP and send topical questions to [email protected]

Read the Task Force Pre-Election Briefs:

Arab Parties Finalize Lists, Anti-Arab Discourse in Campaigns

Elections Discourse on Arab Political Participation


About the Speakers

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer
Professor Kremnitzer is a professor emeritus of the Faculty of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, former dean of the Faculty of Law, and director of the Israeli Press Council. He served on several government committees, including the Committee to Examine the Use of Force by the Police, the Committee on Civic Education in Israel, the Committee on Discipline in the Civil Service, the Committee on Conviction on the Basis of Confession and Retrial, and the Public Committee to Examine Penal Policy and the Treatment of Prisoners. Kremnitzer led the 2007 Israel Ministry of Justice team to examine the Homicide Offenses Law.

Dr. Thabet Abu Ras
Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, Co-Executive Director of The Abraham Initiatives, is a political geographer and a lecturer at Sapir College. Previously, he served as Negev branch director of Adallah - the Legal Center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel. In that capacity he dealt with advancing the rights of the Arab-Bedouins of the Negev. Over the past few years, Abu Ras has also served as Co-Chairman of the board of Hand in Hand, an NGO for Jewish-Arab education in Israel. In his previous positions Abu Ras was Director of Shatil's Negev Branch and Director of the "Abu Basma Project," a joint project by the New Israel Fund and JDC-Israel for the advancement of the newly recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.

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