Mansour Abbas

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Mansour Abbas
מנסור עבאס2.jpg
Faction represented in the Knesset
2019United Arab List
2019–Joint List
Personal details
Born (1974-04-22) 22 April 1974 (age 46)
Maghar, Israel

Mansour Abbas (Arabic: منصور عباس‎, Hebrew: מַנְסוּר עַבַּאס‎, born 22 April 1974)[1] is an Israeli Arab politician. The leader of the United Arab List (Ra'am), he is currently a member of the Knesset for the party and the United Arab List.

Biography[edit]

Abbas was born in the town of Maghar, where he began delivering sermons at the Peace Mosque at the age of 17. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to study dentistry, where he was elected chair of the Arab Students Committee. Whilst at university he met Abdullah Nimar Darwish, the founder of the Islamic Movement. He also studied political science at the University of Haifa.

In 2007 Abbas became Secretary General of the United Arab List,[2] and in 2010 he was elected Deputy Chairman of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

The United Arab List and Balad ran a joint list for the April 2019 Knesset elections, with Abbas as the top candidate.[3] He was subsequently elected to the Knesset as the alliance won four seats.

Abbas aroused controversy when he spoke in support of conversion therapy to LGBTQ+ youth in an interview with Walla News. He was condemned by other Joint List politicians.[4]

Further divisiveness was caused by Abbas's apparent attempt to improve ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing Likud. He gave an interview with the right-wing pro-Netanyahu Channel 20 Network, where he advocated working with Zionist parties in order to secure the funds and reforms needed for the benefit of Arab Israeli society.[5]

Abbas joined the rest of the Joint List in voting against the Abraham Accords. He described his vote as a protest against the lack of a peace treaty with the Palestinian Arabs, adding, "If there will be a real agreement with the Palestinians, there will be real agreements with 55 Muslim countries. But what truly matters is that we are Israelis, and our actions are not supposed to be influenced by whether there is peace with Bahrain."[6]

On 28 January 2021, the Knesset formalized the breakup of Abbas's Ra'am from the Joint Arab List, in advance of the 23 March Israeli elections. At the time of the split, it was unclear if Abbas's party on its own could pass the election threshold of 3.25 percent of the votes necessary to run.[7]

According to the by-laws of his party, Mansour Abbas is ineligible to run again for office in the 2021 elections. The rule in his party is that an MK can serve no more than 3 terms. Because of the unusual situation of 3 elections in Israel from 2019-2020, with the 4th coming up in 23 March 2021, Abbas is currently in his 3rd term over 19 months. Abbas has stated, “I have to respect the institutions of Ra’am, if the bylaws are not changed, even though they didn’t anticipate four elections in two years when they made the rules.”[8]

Abbas is married with three children and lives in Maghar. He is a qualified dentist.

References[edit]

  1. ^ חברי הכנסת ה-21 מטעם רע"מ-בל"ד Mako, 10 April 2019
  2. ^ מנסור עבאס Maariv
  3. ^ Ra'am–Balad list CEC
  4. ^ Sverdlov, Leon (11 July 2020). "Arab MK: LGBTQ rights are human rights, Arab community is evolving". The Jerusalem Post.
  5. ^ "Arab MK under fire from his party for urging cooperation with Netanyahu". The Times of Israel. 25 November 2020.
  6. ^ Hoffman, Gil (19 November 2020). "Meet Mansour Abbas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unlikely ally". The Jerusalem Post. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ TOI staff (28 January 2021). "Knesset panel approves Joint List's breakup after talks with Ra'am faction fail". Times of Israel. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  8. ^ Hoffman, Gil (19 November 2020). "Meet Mansour Abbas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unlikely ally". The Jerusalem Post. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]