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Recent hostilities highlight rising role for Arab citizens in Israel, expert says

EVANSTON, Ill. — Elie Rekhess, Crown Visiting Professor in Israel Studies at Northwestern University, is available to comment on the new political landscape in Israel following the formation of a new coalition government.

He can be contacted by reaching out to Mohamed Abdelfattah at

Quote from Professor Rekhess
“The recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and the formation of a new coalition government in Israel have dramatically shed light on the rising role of the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel. The current developments illustrate their delicate status, tilting between integration and alienation. They concurrently powerfully demonstrate the Arab minority’s growing sense of empowerment and ability to significantly impact Israel’s domestic security and politics. 

“On the one hand, Arab Palestinian protesters took to the streets and actively participated in the outbreak of the forceful violence, threatening the delicate fabric of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. On the other, an Arab party, Ra’am, joined, for the first time in Israel’s history, a government coalition.

“These dramatic developments reflect a fragile and fractural reality, in which the Arab Palestinian Knesset members may easily topple the government, while the threat of renewed violence is still pending in the air.”