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“Israel’s Arab parties have never been part of the government coalition. But with elections just one month away, and the Zionist opposition in a frenzy to dethrone Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s top Arab politician has begun imagining the unimaginable.
“We’re only 20 percent of the Israeli population and can’t do it alone, but without us it would be impossible,” Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List, told a Jewish audience at a packed event in Jerusalem this week. “The questions of occupation and racism have always been debated over our heads, but there can be no true democracy or peace without the critical mass of Arabs in Israel.”
Ahead of elections, the Joint List, currently the third-largest bloc in parliament, has split into two factions: Islamist Ra’am and Arab Nationalist Balad will run together, while Odeh’s socialist Hadash party will join forces with Ta’al, headed by veteran parliamentarian Ahmad Tibi. According to the most recent polls, Odeh’s party is expected to win between seven and nine seats in the elections, making his list a vital element in the left-right tug of war.
Netanyahu’s Likud has quickly adapted to this new political reality. In media interviews, government ministers began reciting the slogan “it’s Bibi or Tibi,” a motto created for the 1996 elections when Netanyahu defeated incumbent Shimon Peres.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."