Gantz makes appeal to Arab voters: You are equal, influential

Gantz said that nevertheless he would not bring the Joint List into his coalition.

By
September 8, 2019 12:44
1 minute read.
Gantz makes appeal to Arab voters: You are equal, influential

Benny Gantz talks at influencer conference in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said he would work to help Israeli Arabs, in an interview on Friday, though he said he would not bring the Joint List into his coalition.

“There is no reason I wouldn’t look Israeli Arabs in the eyes and say to them: You are equal and influential in every way,” Gantz said.

Gantz explained that he would not bring the Joint List into his coalition “for diplomatic reasons,” meaning its position on the Palestinian issue and Israel defending itself from its enemies.

“There is no obstacle for me to take care of problems of violence in Arab society, in planning problems, in education problems,” he added. “I want to serve Arab society in Israel like every other citizen.”

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh has said in recent weeks that he would consider recommending Gantz as prime minister, but that he was unlikely to join the coalition, setting conditions for doing so that were improbable for Blue and White to meet.

Gantz also reiterated that he would not sit in a coalition with Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“I have a problem with racist attitudes. People are people are people. A transportation minister who says his wife should not be cared for by an Arab midwife – that sounds racist to me. I’m against extremism and racism,” he said.

Democratic Union chairman Nitzan Horowitz called for secular and Arab Israelis to vote at a higher rate.

“The story in this election is voter rates,” he said at a Shabbat Culture event in Kiryat Ono. “If secular people and Arabs go out to vote like settlers and haredim [ultra-Orthodox] do, there is a chance to make a change. If not, there won’t be a bloc to stop [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [from being reelected], and I am worried about the secular public’s apathy.”

Horowitz said haredi, settler and Likud voters “don’t go to the beach” on Election Day.

“First they vote, because they are disciplined and have a sense that there is an emergency. The secular public thinks that equality and freedom are natural values that will continue to exist,” he said.


Related Content

September 16, 2019
Jewish-Israeli professors call on public: Vote for the Joint Arab List

By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN