MembersThe Mystery of Mansour Abbas

The Islamist member of Israel’s governing coalition represents a political conundrum for many in the country

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Mansour Abbas
Is Mansour Abbas genuine in his positive shift toward Israel?
Is Mansour Abbas genuine in his positive shift toward Israel? Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Not long ago an ambassador from an Arab state visited Israel and met Israeli politicians in Jerusalem. The Arab guest showed great diplomatic skill right up until the Arab political party Ra’am was asked to join Israel’s new governing coalition. “Mansour Abbas,” the Arab ambassador warned, referring to the Ra’am party leader, “is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood is bad.”

The enigma of Mansour Abbas is on everyone’s mind, from the foreign powers and media to the local parties. Everyone is asking the same question: Did the Ra’am leader only slander Israel in the past for political reasons and is now telling the truth, or were his previous anti-Israel positions genuine and now he is lying in order to make political gains?

A recent study by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) with a more right-wing line claims that in Israel only the gullible would believe without hesitation that true partnership with Ra’am was possible. Lt.-Col. (ret.) Jonathan...

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