Israeli Election Analysis

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    "UMM AL-FAHM, Israel — When the Israeli right won a narrow lead in the country’s general election on Monday, Yousef Jabareen, an Arab lawmaker, grimaced — but also smiled.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc won seats in part because of hard-line policies that have disenfranchised Arab Israelis and further delayed a peace deal with the Palestinians.
    But so did Mr. Jabareen’s Joint List, an alliance of Arab-led parties that had its best election ever.
    The Joint List will now hold at least 15 seats in Parliament, a record for an Arab-led political faction in Israel. That has made it the third-largest parliamentary group, and prevented Mr. Netanyahu from scoring an outright majority.


    “It was a mix of happiness and pride at the result for the Arab community, and disappointment at the national result,” Mr. Jabareen said in an interview in his hometown, Umm al-Fahm. “Netanyahu, with all his racist incitement, succeeded in getting more power.”
    Counterintuitive as it may initially seem, the two results were in fact intertwined.
    Mr. Netanyahu has shored up his base by enacting legislation that alienates Arab citizens and by pursuing a Middle East plan — President Trump’s “deal of the century” — that would annex large tracts of Palestinian land.
    But it is exactly those actions that propelled a previously apathetic Arab Israeli electorate to the ballot box.
    As a practical matter, whatever gains they made at the ballot box on Monday, little meaningful appears likely to change for Israeli Arabs in a country moving steadily to the right. Indeed, the gains may prove a double-edged sword, and make the Israeli right even stronger.
    About one in five Israelis are of Arab ethnicity, but fewer than half of them participated in the Israeli general election last April. That changed markedly on Monday, when an estimated 64.7 percent of Arab Israelis voted in the country’s third election in less than a year — up from 59.2 percent in the poll last September, and 49.2 percent last April."

    Israel is a changing nation and this election proves it