Feature

A Muslim milestone

The week's news at a glance.

Jerusalem

Israel appointed its first Muslim minister in history this week when Raleb Majadele of the Labor Party was named a minister without portfolio. Majadele said he wants to promote dialogue between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, as well as between Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli Arab lawmakers dismissed the appointment as cosmetic. “Progress for Israel’s Arabs depends on changing the entire discriminatory approach of the government over the past 58 years,” said Wasil Taha of the Balad party, “and not on the appointment of a minister.” Israeli Arabs—who live in Israel proper, not the territories—are full citizens and comprise about 20 percent of Israel’s population and 10 percent of the Knesset. Disproportionately poor, they say the government has long neglected their towns.

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