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In US, Rivlin proudly shows off inclusion of Islamist Ra’am in Israeli coalition

7 9 0

WASHINGTON — President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday ended three busy days of meetings and bidding farewell to the US diplomatic and political leadership as he neared the end of his seven years in office.

US President Joe Biden, Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and others wanted to hear about complex combination of circumstances that led to the formation of the right-center-left-Islamist government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

In all of his meetings and all the events he attended in New York and Washington DC, Rivlin stressed his many years of contribution to improving Arab-Jewish relations and took pride in the fact that Mansour Abbas’s Ra’am has become the first-ever Arab party to play such a key role in the formation of an Israeli government.

In Washington, Rivlin was careful not to reveal too much of internal Israeli politics and politely dismissed most of the questions about relations between the various party leaders in the new government. Still, he could not resist highlighting the presence of Ra’am in the coalition, proudly telling Biden, congressional leaders and heads of Jewish organizations that a religious Islamist party was now a major part of an Israeli unity government.

It is doubtful whether the complex nature of the current eight-party coalition is understandable to all of Israel’s friends in the United States. Some may be convinced that Netanyahu is only gone for a short while and will be back in........

© The Times of Israel

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