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A Jewish-Arab, Anti-occupation Left

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Two sighs of relief could be heard recently from the Jewish center-left camp in Israel. The first was when Benjamin Netanyahu’s incitement-immunity coalition didn’t win the 61 Knesset seats it needed to remain entrenched in power, and the second was when the Joint List announced that it was recommending that Kahol Lavan’s Benny Gantz be tasked with forming the next government.

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But the very next day, when it became clear that the three Balad members in the list weren’t included in the list of Gantz’s backers, and then when the party boycotted the Knesset swearing-in ceremony to protest the neglect in dealing with violence in the Arab community, the social media posts and opeds began grumbling about how “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” But almost no one stopped to ask what role we play in the complex political reality in which Israel’s Palestinian citizens live, to what extent we influence their Knesset representatives and, even more importantly, on what basis is it possible to establish a true partnership?

It took many years for the left-wing Jewish parties to understand that including the Arab public’s elected representatives in their bloc was vital for democracy. Actually, the right understood........

© Haaretz