New Party Seeks Different Path for Israeli Arabs

Hope for Change Vows To Enter Governing Coalition

New Path: Israeli Arab political parties have long sat with the opposition. A new group seeks to enter the government to battle for a fair share of resources.
getty images
New Path: Israeli Arab political parties have long sat with the opposition. A new group seeks to enter the government to battle for a fair share of resources.

By Reuters

Published December 11, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

One Israeli Arab election candidate aims to lead his community out of the margins of Israeli politics - saying their interests have been overshadowed for too long by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Atef Krinawi says he would even be willing to make an unprecedented electoral alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, the party to which he once belonged.

His success or failure in the Jan. 22 election could be a bellwether for the position of the Jewish state’s 20-percent Arab minority.

Krinawi argues that many Arabs want greater integration in Israel but are eclipsed, in public discourse, by those who identify more with their kindred Palestinians and anti-Zionism.

“Arab leaders have not been making demands for fair allocation of funds, or any other demand for that matter. All they do is fight,” the 42-year-old Krinawi told Reuters.

“People are thirsty for equality. I want to enter this government and demand full rights, peacefully.”

A Haifa University survey published on Dec. 11 found that, when asked what issues topped their agenda, 47 percent of Israeli Arab respondents listed unemployment, housing and education. Only 8 percent cited the Palestinians.

“Israelis and Palestinians should be left to sort out their own problems,” said Krinawi, who in his electioneering has spoken of Israel’s Arabs and Jews as being “the same people”.

Krinawi predicts that his newcomer “Hope for Change” party will garner as many as 10 of the 120 seats in parliament - the same number now held by Arab lawmakers from three leftist parties, which have invariably sat in the political opposition.

Independent experts have doubts about Hope for Change’s prospects, but most agree that there is disillusionment among Israeli Arabs over their established politicians’ focus on pro-Palestinian activism at the cost of promoting minority equality.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.