'Netanyahu's extreme right-wing coalition is a danger to Israel's Arabs'

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh gave an interview to the London-based Arab-language daily 'Asharq al-Awsat'.

May 9, 2015 18:26
2 minute read.
Joint List MK Ayman Odeh

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Ayman Odeh, the head of the predominantly Arab Joint List faction in the Knesset, said on Saturday that not only is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “an extreme right-wing coalition, but one that represents a danger to the Arabs of Israel and the entire region.”

“If dialogue with the government doesn’t succeed, then the Joint List will endeavor to join the global struggle [against Israel],” Odeh said.

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The first-term parliamentarian was quoted in the London-based Arab-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

“The composition of the government and the hysteria expressed by its ministers, which can be discerned in their statements, signal a future of blood and violence, whether it is in relation to the Arabs in Israel, or those in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and the West Bank,” Odeh told the Saudi-owned daily. “I am doubtful whether there will be a positive change in the country or in the region.”

“The issue of house demolitions is revisited daily, particularly in recent days after the Supreme Court allowed the authorities to go ahead with the razing of the village of Um al-Hiran in the Negev so that it could make way for a Jewish town that will bear the same name [Hiran],” Odeh said.

Odeh was referring to the Supreme Court ruling this past Tuesday rejecting an appeal filed by the residents of an unrecognized Beduin village seeking to stop the state’s plans to destroy their homes and evacuate the grounds, which are to be used to build a new community.

“The state is the proprietor of the lands in question,” the court ruled. “The residents did not obtain the rights to this land. Rather, they settled there without any permits, and the state lawfully seeks to evict them. In light of this situation, there is no justification for the intervention of legal rulings by lower courts.”

“This decision will open the gates of hell before us,” Odeh said. “We are talking about a village with hundreds of homes that were built with hard work. These are citizens that have been evicted from their homes and lands, and the government has chosen the lands on which they live now as a place to build a permanent settlement.”

“So they will not be able to bear another eviction,” he said. “Before it announced its intention to destroy this village, we saw the government’s appetite for destroying Arab homes in the North, Center, and South.”

“We must topple this government,” he said. “The opposition leaders will meet on Monday with the goal of cooperating and coordinating their actions toward bringing down the Netanyahu government.”

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