April 7, 2021
News Press Release

ZOA to Israeli Parties: Make No Coalition With Anti-Israel Ra’am Islamic Movement Party

Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Note: The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) does not endorse candidates or political parties in the United States, Israel, or anywhere else. This article should not be deemed to be an endorsement of any party, large or small, or of any individual.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

ZOA calls upon all Israeli parties, Knesset members, and leaders to stand firmly against making any coalition with the anti-Israel Ra’am Islamic Movement party and Ra’am’s four members of Knesset (MKs) elected on March 23, including Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas.

  • Ra’Am’s Conditions for Joining a Coalition, or for Supporting a Coalition “From the Outside,” Are Inimical to Israeli Democracy, The Rule of Law, and Israel’s Existence as the Jewish Homeland: (i) Ra’am demands cancellation of Israel’s Nation State Basic Law. The Nation State basic law appropriately declares that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. (ii) Ra’am is also demandingcancellation of the Kamenitz law, which (if the law was enforced) would stem the huge problem of tens of thousands of EU-funded illegal Arab buildings constructed on Israeli lands (while failing to build in Palestinian Authority areas, which have plenty of room). (iii) Ra’am is also demanding legalizing illegal Bedouin “villages” – instant tent groupings erected to unlawfully take over Israeli-owned land.
  • Ra’am MKs Oppose Israel as a Jewish State and Instead Identify As Palestinian-Arab Nationalists:profileof Ra’am MK Iman Khatib-Yasin explains that “in line with her colleagues in Ra’am, Khatib-Yasin has previously voiced her objection to the definition of Israel as a Jewish state. . . . ‘I classify myself as a citizen of Israel whose national identity is Palestinian-Arab,’ [Khatib-Yasin] said.”
  • Ra’am’s Mks Refuse to Even Call Hamas a Terror Group: During a recent radio interview, Ra’am MK Walid Taha refused to answer whether Hamas is a terrorist group; and instead criticized the radio host who asked him this question. (“Arab MK Declines to Say if Hamas is a Terror Group or Not,” Jerusalem Post, Mar. 25, 2021.)
  • Ra’am Is an Offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood: Ra’am’s refusal to acknowledge Hamas terrorism may stem from the fact that both the Ra’am Islamic Movement and Hamas are offshoots of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, a profile of Ra’am Party leader Mansour Abbas explains that Abbas is “an Islamist who has more in common ideologically with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood than with any of Israel’s establishment political parties.” 
  • Ra’am Sides With Hamas Over Israel: In the midst of Hamas riots at the Gaza border in 2019, in which Hamas militants threw explosive devices at Israelis and attempted to breach the border to murder Israelis, Ra’am MK Walid Taha accused Israeli PM Netanyahu of an “aggressive” “policy of escalation” that would drag the region into a “real disaster,” and threaten “the security of the entire region and the lives of millions of innocent people in the Gaza Strip.”  
  • Ra’am Opposed Peace Deals With Israel, and Opposes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: Ra’am’s MKs (then part of the Joint Arab List) voted againstthe recent peace deals with Israel. The Joint Arab List was the only opponent of the peace deals; the MKs from every other party that was present in the Knesset voted to endorse the peace deals. An op-ed entitled “Arab MKs Rejection of UAE Deal is Unforgivable” (by Jalal Bana, Israel HaYom, Oct. 18, 2020) notes that today’s Arab MKs “proved they [are] . . . anti-peace, and to a large extent – against any Arab country that wants normal and friendly relations with Israel.”

Further, Ra’am MK Said al-Harumi specifically condemned the peace deal for “perpetuating Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel and continuing the occupation in those sites sacred to Muslims and Christians.”

  • Ra’am Should Not Even Be Permitted to Stand for Election;Israel’s Central Elections Committee Properly Banned Ra’am From Running In Prior Elections: In 2009 and 2019, Israel’s Center Elections Committee (CEC) disqualified Ra’am and certain other Arab parties due to their incitement: support for terrorist groups; support for violent Arab “resistance”; and for seeking to eliminate Israel’s existence. Israel’s left wing Supreme Court improperly overturned the CEC’s decisions. 
  • Ra’am’s Guiding Charter Supports “Right of Return” & Calls Zionism Racist; Seeks Israel’s Elimination: A recent Times of Israel article exposed that Ra’am’s Guiding Charter, issued in 2018, calls Zionism “racist”; calls for a Palestinian-Arab (terror) state with Jerusalem as its capital on the suicidal-for-Israel 1949 Armistice lines; along with an (invented) Arab “right of return” into all of Israel that would overrun and eliminate Israel’s existence; calls for dismantling all “settlements” (Jewish communities); compares Israel to Crusader invaders who were defeated by Saladin; and demands no recruitment of Arabs to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The TOI article quotes several anti-Israel antisemitic statements found in Ra’am’s Guiding Charter, including:

The State of Israel was born of the racist, occupying Zionist project; iniquitous Western and British imperialism; and the debasement and feebleness of the Arab and Islamic [nations]. We do not absolve ourselves, the Palestinian people, of our responsibility and our failure to confront this project.”

We all are [united as] one hand until the occupation ends and a Palestinian state is established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and in noble Jerusalem; when the expelled and displaced return to their homes and to their homeland.”

You have a warning in the Frank apostates [the Crusaders] who forcefully ravished the land for nearly two centuries, until they were defeated by Salah al-Din al-Ayyub and his soldiers.”

(“Ra’am’s Guiding Charter Backs Palestinian Right of Return, Calls Zionism Racist: While Mansour Abbas is Being Wooed Amid Post-Election Deadlock, the Southern Islamic Movement, of Which his Party is the Political Wing, Takes Positions Most Jewish Israelis Abhor,” by Aaron Boxerman, Times of Israel, Apr. 4, 2021.)  

Ra’am’s extreme ideology and statements, defaming and seeking elimination of the Jewish state, make Ra’am unfit and dangerous for a governing Israeli coalition. ZOA thus urges all Israeli parties to avoid any coalition that relies upon Ra’am.