Is that question even sensible? What would count as the "same thing" happening here?
Israel's president is a symbolic figurehead, elected by the Knesset, and the prime minister, though formally appointed by the president, is actually just the leader of whichever party wins the most Knesset seats. (Fascinating Fact: Israel actually implemented an American-style head-of-state direct-election system from 1996 to 2003, but then they scrapped it and reverted back to the earlier system.)
People do directly elect political parties, and some political parties are explicitly designated as representing the interests of particular minorities. For example:
- Atid Echad (Ethiopian Jews)
- United Arab List (Arabs)
- United Torah Judaism (Ashkenazi Ultra-Orthodox Jews)
- Shas (Mizrachi and Sephardi Ultra-Orthodox Jews)
- and Israel Beiteinu (racist immigrant Jews from Russian-speaking countries?)
In fact, it's not so at all. The demographically-oriented Israeli political parties take care of their own. So when Obama said, "I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too" — he was articulating an American conception of political constituency. By contrast, Israel's minority parties are understood as responsible to their electorate, and maybe even to their whole demographic base... but not to the whole country. So long as they hold few seats in Knesset and are forced to bargain hard for political gains, that's fine. But no reasonable Israelis are fantasizing about a Shas-led government.
What people are imagining is a political victory by a major party headed by a suitably-Obama-ish prime minister. And what does that PM's Obamaishness consist in? S/he's got to belong to a minority whose status in Israeli society is somehow equivalent to that of Black Americans. And that opens up a truly fascinating question: does Israel even have plausible analogues for US racial categories?
(To be continued!)