"If we bring them (the Arab Joint List) on board, it would place a burden on the budget. However, we will try to bring them along on issues that won’t affect the budget but are still important, like the Electricity Law," Ra’am Party chairman Mansour Abbas said Aug. 1.
Without knowing, Abbas was responding to a practical joke played on him by the ultra-Orthodox Kol Berama radio station during a discussion with an impersonator who presented himself as Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman. Still, his reaction was very revealing. His remarks came just a few days after a heated exchange in the Knesset between Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List (a unified slate of predominantly Arab parties) and Knesset member Walid Taha of Ra’am over proposed legislation that Tibi was trying to advance. The law concerns the supply of electricity to homes built without an occupancy permit, or a “Form 4” as it is known in the parlance of the Israeli legal code.