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A day for Omar and Tlaib


A day for Omar and Tlaib

Jack Engelhard

Ilhan Omar — she may yet get her wish, if Benjamin Netanyahu is unseated, and if her appeal to oust Netanyahu comes true.

By the time you read this – who knows? Netanyahu may once again have pulled it off.

Either way, the Democrat Congresswoman from Minnesota, frequently under fire for anti-Semitism, has every reason to rejoice, and the same goes for Rashida Tlaib (D. Michigan), as together, their team, the Arab Joint List, has managed to vote as a bloc, giving it some 12-to-13 seats, and hence entitled to be named the Jewish State’s third largest Party.

You heard that right.

Not that Israeli voters pay those two any attention. It just seems that way.

This means that the Arab influence is rather huge in Israeli governance. The Joint List leader, Ayman Odeh, put it like this: “The main difference in this vote is the turnout among Arab citizens. There’s no doubt that this is what made the difference. Without that, Netanyahu would already be prime minister.”

So there you go…in case you thought Jews are smart. In science, technology, medicine, law, literature, agriculture, ethics, yes, they are winners. The best and the brightest.

Check out the Nobel Prizes.

But in politics, or when seated at the negotiating table with an opponent, they turn dull and wonder how they got their pockets picked so thoroughly and so clean.

You mean, they haven’t gotten the message, from last April’s failure, that when you spread yourself so thin, party to party, you tend to vaporize?

The Arab voters figured it out. That is how they, more so than Liberman, get to call the shots, and therefore get to have a hand in deciding Israel’s shape and fate for years to come.

That may be an exaggeration, even if it turns out to be Gantz. But for the love of Zion, it should never have gotten this close…close to where the tail wags the dog.

Netanyahu has issued a wake-up call; meaning a plan to go forward with all right-wing parties together at last. Finally? Finally, some political smarts?

Or finally all these scattered true-to-Zion parties realized how deftly they’d been outsmarted when each decided to go it alone rather than as an unbeatable unit.

Perhaps a lesson for next time.

Meantime – let’s hear no more about “apartheid.”

Certainly not when it comes to Israel.

Not when every single vote counts equally whether Arab or Jew.

Nor when minority Arabs gets to dictate terms to majority Jews.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” His Holocaust to Montreal memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah” has been honored from page to screen at CANNES. His Inside Journalism thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” is being prepared for the movies. Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:

First published in the Arutz Sheva

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