Creating new perspectives since 2009

Reports: Israel to appoint Arab minister for minorities in next cabinet

April 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

President Reuven Rivlin meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on 23 September, 2019 [Haim Zach/Getty]

The upcoming Israeli government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will include an Arab minister for minority affairs as part of the Blue White party’s ministerial portfolios, local media reports claimed.

Israeli Channel 12 reported that the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party and the Labor party have reached an agreement to appoint an Arab minister for minorities which has been accepted by Netanyahu.

The Head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, Michael Milstein, said: “The Israeli situation requires the appointment of an Arab minister in the next government in order to bridge the gaps that have widened during the recent electoral rounds in Israel.”

Milstein warned that relations between Arabs and Jews could explode at the earliest opportunity leading to increased friction between them.

READ: Are the Israelis really helping the Palestinians? 

“The Jewish community has to understand the Arab citizens’ needs and to engage them in all state institutions,” Milstein said, adding that several Israeli circles have been calling to integrate Arab citizens and to use the coronavirus pandemic to normalise relations with them.

Israeli analysts believe the new government will shift its policy towards the Arab citizens who represent 20 per cent of the Israeli population from delegitimisation and incitement against them to trying to contain them and weaken their relations with the Arab-dominated Joint List.