Ra’am chief MK Mansour Abbas says that his party’s inclusion in the current government is a realization of the goal of Arab political integration into Israeli society.
“We want to make this relationship a goal in itself, not an instrument,” says Abbas, speaking at a symposium at Reichman University.
“It’s beyond the day-to-day,” he says. “This is valid for relationships between citizens, but if we succeed in this model… then we can deal with the more complex and hard issue, the Palestinian-Israeli relationship.”
Abbas repeats that it’s important to maintain a long-term perspective, as there are and will continue to be stumbling blocks along the way. “Progress isn’t in one direction, it can also go backwards,” he says.
In particular, the Ra’am leader points to last May’s outbreak of violence in several Arab-Jewish mixed cities, in parallel with Israel’s military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“We formed the coalition two to three weeks after the events stopped,” he says, adding that negotiations succeeded because Ra’am was committed to taking an active role in Israeli politics.