A religious survey of Arabs in the Knesset

I was inspired by a recent MSNBC article on Israel’s Druze community to check up on the history of Druze members of Knesset. On the way, I found myself on the Wikipedia page titled List of Arab members of the Knesset. Here’s a partial screenshot — don’t bother squinting, I summarize immediately below:

Arab knesset members

There are currently 12 members of Knesset who are non-Jewish Arabs. Wikipedia identifies two as Sunni, two as Christian, one as Druze, and one as Bedouin. The other six specify no designation.

I asked this blog’s senior Arabic correspondent whether those six might be Shia, since no one was listed as such. She explained that most Israeli Muslims are Sunni, and that unlisted most likely meant Druze. When I pointed out that at least one Druze was designated, she suggested that perhaps the unspecified six simply do not advertise their religion, and Wikipedia reasonably declined to speculate on the basis of unsubstantiated sources.

That paragraph is only a brief sketch of the conversation, but even the bit I recounted was pretty boring. Luckily, my correspondent is both patient and gracious with her time.

Even more luckily, all that speculation about the religion of various Arabs in the Knesset might soon be moot. Under the proposed ‘Jewish Nation’ bill that contributed to Bibi’s call for new elections, they will soon be designated “goyim”.


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