While I'm not gonna be counting on it, Israel's very first appointment of an ethnic Arab to that nation's Cabinet is indeed an auspicious occasion.
Israel names first Arab ministerJeez oh Petes. Sounds like a wing nut suggesting that "letting" a newly elected Congressperson swear their oath of office on a Qur'an is tantamount to the undermining of American civilization.
Israel's Labour party leader has appointed Raleb Majadele as science and technology minister - making him the first Arab Muslim in Israel's cabinet.
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Mr Majadele replaces Ophir Pines-Paz who quit last October in protest at the addition of ultra-nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu to the coalition.
However, Mr Majadele's appointment has drawn angry criticism.
Esterina Tartman, chairman of Yisrael Beitenu, said Mr Majadele's appointment was a "lethal blow to Zionism", the Haaretz news website reported.
There's a lot that needs remediating between the two peoples of Israel/Palestine. Reaching out in such a way is going to incur consequences, both good and bad, and in my googling on Mr. Majadele, I found a little of both, a wee bit o' the good of which I'll leave you with.
A Timely Appointment
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The appointment of a minority MK to the portfolio isn't entirely unexpected; there have been previous rumors that Peretz intended to name a non-Jewish candidate in order to "compensate" for accepting Yisraeli Beiteinu as a coalition partner. The candidate most often mentioned, however, was Shakib Shanan, a Druze party activist who just missed being elected to the Knesset last year. Shanan was a political novice, but he was also a Peretz loyalist, and given that Avoda's two Arab MKs were lukewarm toward Peretz, he was expected to pass them over in Shanan's favor.
Since then, however, the equation has changed. Peretz is fighting for his life in a party chairmanship election scheduled for May, and the Arab sector is a bigger constituency within the party than the Druze sector. Suddenly, Peretz' personal and policy differences with Majadele mattered less than the need to win Arab party members to his side in the leadership election, so Majadele - who, coincidentally, is Avoda's most senior Arab MK - got the nod.
[Read the rest at The Head Heeb.]