Israel needs to stop relying on Ra’am - opinion

Relying on such people to govern is holding the whole country hostage. I say that enough is enough. The time has come for an Israeli leader to emerge who can bring people together without Ra'am.

 Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra'am party, leads a faction meeting in the Knesset on October 4, 2021 (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra'am party, leads a faction meeting in the Knesset on October 4, 2021
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

As we speak, Israel is in shambles. We clearly cannot continue onwards like this, with our government depending upon the Ra’am Party to govern. Anti-Israel activists are exploiting the present fragility of the current coalition in order to weaken our wonderful country, as demonstrated by the present incitement on Israeli university campuses and on the Arab streets in Israel, since Operation Guardian of the Walls.

I am not the only one who is concerned about this. Shai Rosengarten, Im Tirtzu’s National Activist Coordinator, proclaimed in the Knesset recently, “Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, we are seeing a distinct upturn in incitement against students. The events that have taken place in this wave of terror reflect this reality. We have seen calls to hang traitors, (calls) in blood and fire to redeem Palestine and calls for encouraging terrorists in Jenin.

To our great sorrow, the educational institutions are not suggesting a clear treatment that can prevent such events. Many students are turning to people outside of the universities and this bears witness on the decrease of power of academic institutions in Israel.”

For this reason, there has been an increase in terror attacks and other criminal incidents as the coalition is falling apart. An Israeli policeman was just murdered and 18 buses in Safed fell victim to an arson attack, as this government cannot decide whether it will manage to carry onwards, if there will be elections or whether Netanyahu will return to power with this present Knesset.

All of these incidents occurred because of the grave incitement that takes place on a daily basis in the Arab sector. Just to give you a basic example, MK Ayman Odeh published a video in which he made incendiary remarks: “A few weeks ago, I stood in Damascus Gate and I said that unfortunately here in Jerusalem not even one percent of our population (Arab) serve the occupation. I requested from them (Arab soldiers) to throw their guns in the face of the occupation. I want to repeat my message a little bit more forcefully: those who attacked the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh are the occupation. Those who protected Ben Gvir (Knesset Member) that came to our holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, they are part of the occupation. It is a shame, a shame that any person who has even the smallest conscience will dare to serve the criminal occupation army.”

Israeli security forces stand on a roof top near the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, following clashes on the compound in Jerusalem's Old City, April 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)Israeli security forces stand on a roof top near the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, following clashes on the compound in Jerusalem's Old City, April 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Relying on such people to govern is holding the whole country hostage. I say that enough is enough. The time has come for an Israeli leader to emerge who can bring people together and govern efficiently, without relying upon the Ra’am Party.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan used to be in a similar situation that we are in today. In the early 1990’s, there were many bomb attacks in Azerbaijan and the country suffered grave territorial losses, with the Armenian Armed Forces occupying 20% of Azerbaijani territory. Like us now, they were on the brink of having a civil war due to the grave instability in the country, as the Azerbaijani National Front Party has been unable to deal with the situation.

And then, Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev managed to avert the crisis with his great wisdom. On the invitation of the Azerbaijani people, he came to power and replaced the Azerbaijani National Front Party, who was unable to deal with the country’s issues. Only then was the situation in the country drastically improved and a civil war was averted.

In celebration of his legacy, the Economic Peace Center together with the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the For the Descendants of the Caucuses organization is hosting a Salvation Day celebration at Beth Israel Congregation in Netanya on June 29th.

At a time like this, when the police and soldiers are losing and all boundaries have been lost, we should take the time to remember that there is another way, the Heydar Aliyev way, of creating unity rather than division. The biggest dangers to Israel come from within. Thus, we should change our status quo before it is too late, before our beloved nation is lost.

The writer served as Israeli Communications Minister under Benjamin Netanyahu and is now the president of the Economic Peace Center and the honorary president of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy.