Netanyahu Discovers Arabs Just Before the Election, but Do Voters Actually Believe Him?

The prime minister's party is trying to take advantage of the rift in the Joint List to attract Arab voters in the upcoming election – but low Arab turnout would also help Likud

Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rare visits to the Arab cities of Tira and Umm al-Fahm last week were received with suspicion in the Israeli Arab community, considering the timing: a week after the Knesset dissolved and an election was scheduled for March 23.

The stated purpose of the visits was to encourage Israeli Arabs to get coronavirus vaccinations, but many in the community viewed them as a political play with a single purpose – taking advantage of the rift within the Joint List electoral alliance of largely Arab parties to get Arab voters to vote for the prime minister’s Likud party.