From ‘Terror Supporters’ to Legitimate Partners: Will Israel’s Raam Join Netanyahu’s Coalition?

The Islamic party extended a helping hand to Netanyahu, indicating that it was ready to support his government, says an Israeli Arab publicist. But such a coalition is unlikely to be established, he says, as Raam supporters will find it hard to swallow a partnership with Jewish hardliners. And so will a number of Israeli hawks.

In the past, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded them as terrorist supporters “who wanted to destroy Israel”.

Now, as he is struggling to obtain the 61 signatures needed to form a government, he is looking at Raam, an Islamic party that received 4 seats in the Israeli parliament, as a possible saviour able to help him to remain at the helm.

Extending a Helping Hand

So far, it seems that Raam is inclined to give the backing that Netanyahu is looking for, putting aside the grievances of the past.

At the beginning of February, Abbas announced he would run in the parliamentary race of March independently, splitting away from the Joint Arab List to which he previously belonged. Back then, reports suggested that he went ahead with the move to join forces with Netanyahu, who allegedly promised him funds would be poured into the Arab community.

That move brought Abbas 150,000 votes in the last round of general polls and those translated into four seats in the Knesset. A recent poll revealed that 90 percent of Raam’s supporters approved of the party’s conduct.

But Bisharat says the majority of the Arab public still disapprove of his decision to split…

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