• Open to the public
  • Live

Seminar on Arab Politics in Israel following the 19th Knesset Elections

The Israel Democracy Institute4 Pinsker Street, Jerusalem This seminar is co-sponsored by IDI and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel

This seminar has been made possible by the generous support of
The Goldhirsh Foundation

The recent Knesset elections were marked by far-reaching changes that took place on the Israeli political map and were expressed through the rise of new political forces. In the shadow of these changes, the storm in the Arab political system in Israel before the elections, where the threat that Arab voters would boycott the elections at a higher rate than in the past seemed more likely than ever, was unseen by the majority of the public. In the end, the voting rate in Arab and Druze settlements remained almost the same as in the past. The three parties that represented the Arab public in the 18th Knesset—Ra'am-Ta'al-Mada, Hadash, and Balad—retained their 11 Knesset seats and most of the MKs from these parties will continue serving as MKs in the 19th Knesset. Yet, these MKs know that beneath the surface, new trends are demanding a change in Arab politics in Israel.

Has the Arab public lost faith in the Knesset and in the parties representing it? Does the Arab public have a real alternative to parliamentary activity? What impact is the recent Knesset campaign likely to have on Arab politics in Israel in the short and long term?

On Monday February 11, 2013, IDI's Nation State project, headed by Prof. Anita Shapira, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel hosted a full-day seminar that addressed these questions. Participants included senior representatives from the academic world, public figures, and politicians.

This Hebrew event was open to the public and included simultaneous English translation of the lectures and discussions.

The seminar was broadcast live on the IDI websited and will be available for viewing shortly.

Session 1: Election Results – Analysis and Evaluation
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

Prof. Anita Shapira, Senior Fellow, Israel Democracy Institute; Department of the History of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv University


Prof. Yedidia Stern, Vice-President of Research, Israel Democracy Institute; Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University

Mr. Michael Mertes, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel


  • Mr. Arik Rudnitzky, Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, Tel Aviv University
    “Arab Politics in a Jewish State?”
  • Dr. Mohanad Mustafa, The Center for Academic Studies, Or Yehuda
    “The Islamic Movement and Israeli Politics: Transformations in the Political Discourse”
  • Dr. Orna Cohen, Truman Institute, Hebrew University
    “Sociological Profile of the Arab Knesset Members: Continuity and Change”

Open Discussion

Session 2: “Arab Politics”–Within Parliament or Outside It?
12:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Prof. Tamar Hermann, Senior Fellow, Israel Democracy Institute; Vice-President of the Open University


  • Dr. Nohad Ali, Western Galilee College, Haifa University
    “The Arab Public’s Positions toward Extra-Parliamentary Politics: The Follow-Up Committee as an Example”
  • Ms. Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi, Director, Injaz Center
    “The Influence of the Arab Civil Social Organizations on the Arab Political Discourse”
  • Prof. Hillel Frisch, Political Science Department and Department of Middle East Studies, Bar-Ilan University
    “The Decline in Arab Protest in the Past Decade in a Theoretical Mirror”

Open Discussion

Session 3: Arab Politics in Israel at a Crossroad – A Panel Discussion
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Mohammad Darawshe
, Co-Executive Director, The Abraham Fund Initiatives


  • Adv. Ayman Odeh, Hadash Party Secretary
  • Ms Nadia Hilou, Project Planning and Consultation, Former Labor Party MK
  • Mr. Abd al-Hakim Mufid, Political Commentator and Journalist
  • Prof. Yitzhak Reiter, Ashkelon Academic College, The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies
  • Dr. Mary Totry, Chairperson of the Civics Studies Department, Oranim College

Open Discussion