The Arab Leadership in Israel: Ascendance and Fragmentation

This article describes the rise of a second generation of Arab political ‎leaders in Israel as seen in the proliferation of explicitly Arab political ‎parties (nationalist and Islamist) and Arab NGOs (secular and ‎religious). While more representative of Israel’s Arab community than ‎the its predecessors, reflecting the community’s growing national ‎consciousness, the new leadership is also more fragmented. The ‎author acknowledges Israel’s active efforts to weaken the new leaders, ‎but asserts that fragmentation has also resulted from continuing ‎traditional structures, including extended family, a culture of notables ‎manifested in the personalization of institutions, and patriarchy, ‎particularly the political exclusion of women.‎

Amal Jamal is a senior lecturer in political science at Tel Aviv University and head of ‎the Walter Lebach Center for Arab-Jewish Coexistence through Education. His most ‎recent books are The Palestinian National Movement, 1967–2005: Politics of Contention ‎‎(Indiana University Press, 2005) and Media, Politics, and Democracy in Palestine ‎‎(Sussex Academic Press, 2005). He would like to thank the three anonymous peer ‎reviewers of this paper for their valuable comments.‎