Ra’am, the Islamic Party lead by Mansour Abbas, became the first Arab party in Israel’s history to join a governing coalition. Ra’am is one of eight politically diverse parties in the ‘change bloc’ brought together to form a narrow governing coalition. While its new leadership role is certainly historical, debates are ongoing regarding whether Ra'am joining a right-wing lead government is actually what Arab citizens want or if it will lead to meaningful change.
On May 10, a series of clashes in East Jerusalem spiraled into some of the worst inter-ethnic violence between Jewish and Arab citizens in history. While violence has ebbed, heightened tensions and many questions remain.
This briefing paper provides insights into conditions within Arab society leading up to escalations, the gulf in discourse that widened between the Jewish and Arab public, and the vibrant response from civil society which jumped into action. It closes with preliminary insights into action areas ahead.
Dozens of initiatives have begun to amplify the voices of Jewish and Arab citizens calling for calm and solidarity. Click for compilation of articles and statements.
Jewish and Arab Akko residents cleaning up together after clashes. Credit: Tag Meir