Arab Joint List rejects idea of joining Herzog-led government

Joint List spokesman to ‘Post’: We cannot be a part of a government that still occupies our people

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March 3, 2015 17:30
2 minute read.
A WOMAN walks past campaign posters for the Arab-led Hadash party in Umm al-Fahm

A WOMAN walks past campaign posters for the Arab-led Hadash party in the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Joint (Arab) List has no plans to join any government, even one led by Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog.

Raja Zaatry, spokesman for the Joint List and responsible for its media campaign, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Monday evening that there was no chance it would join even a left-wing government at this time, because it does not want to be part of bad decisions taken by it.

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“We cannot be a part of a government that still occupies our people,” Zaatry said.

He added, however, “We can support it from the outside,” meaning that if the Joint List can help by supporting specific initiatives or by preventing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a coalition after the March 17 election, it will do so.

The Joint List calls on Herzog and Zionist Union No.

2 Tzipi Livni to declare that they will not take part in any national unity government with Netanyahu.

Asked whether the Joint List was being hypocritical by trying to appeal to Jewish voters while at the same time ruling out participation in any government, Zaatry responded that it would negotiate with Herzog on various issues and make political demands.

“But, I don’t think that within a week or two Israel would withdraw from the West Bank and remove settlers.”

The Joint List would support a peace process according to its political platform: “A just peace in the region based on the United Nations’ decisions: to end the occupation of all territories conquered in 1967, to dismantle all settlements and the racist separation fence, to release the political prisoners, to establish a sovereign, independent Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967, borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem, and to find a just solution for the problem of the Palestinian refugees which assures the right of return under UN Resolution 194.”

“Herzog and Livni do not really want us to be a part of their coalition, since we are treated as illegitimate” by the “Israeli mainstream, which does not see us as part of the political system,” he said.

Reut Mor, the Joint List and Hadash party spokeswoman in Hebrew, told the Post that the four-party alliance intends to run a positive campaign focused on the real issues, not gimmicks.

The campaign is trying to draw support from Jews who voted for Hadash in the past and others on the Left who are attracted by the message of anti-racism and democracy.

According to a knowledgeable political source, Joint List and Hadash party head Ayman Odeh and other Arab politicians have refrained from responding strongly to Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, not wanting to engage in a media conflict with him and “give him what he desires.”

Liberman seeks a public dispute with the Joint List in order to improve his lagging poll numbers, the source said.


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