During the monthslong Israeli election campaign, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian officials maintained absolute radio silence. They were worried that any comments they might make in support of Zionist Camp leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni would boomerang against them among the Israeli public. While they were quite open about their support for the Joint List — a unified slate of predominantly Arab parties — when it came to the campaign in general, they were careful not to show any involvement in “Israel’s internal affairs.”
Obviously, everybody knew what the significance of a large Arab party in the Knesset would be, and whose interests it would serve. On the other hand, what could possibly be so extraordinary about the Palestinians expressing solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs in Israel?