Odeh reiterates Joint List will not be part of Gantz government

Says sees himself as future prime minister of the State of Israel

September 5, 2019 01:02
1 minute read.
Odeh reiterates Joint List will not be part of Gantz government

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh addresses the Knesset: Odeh has suggested, for the first time, that Israeli Arabs would be willing to join a government coalition. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

oint List leader Ayman Odeh said Wednesday that “there’s no chance” he will be asked to join a coalition led by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

In an interview with Kan News, he said he would not want to join anyway: “I don’t want them with their discrimination against Arabs.”
Odeh said he will “never be in a government while the Palestinian people are under military rule and we [Israeli Arabs] are second-class citizens. It won’t happen.”

The statements came after Odeh said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot last month that he would join a Blue and White-led coalition if it annuls the Nation-State Law; stops Arab home demolitions; builds a new Arab city and a hospital in an Arab-majority area; and take steps to limit crime in Arab towns.

Odeh has also said that, despite recommending no one in the last two elections, he may recommend Gantz as the next prime minister.

Other members of the Joint List responded unenthusiastically to Odeh’s remarks.

During the Kan interview, the Joint List head likewise accused Blue and White of having a “racist platform” and insulted the party’s leadership.

Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, one of Blue and White’s four-member leadership team, said last month in an interview with Army Radio that, “We will not invite a party that does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

But Odeh said it was irrelevant since his goals are loftier than being in a Gantz-led government. “I hope I will be prime minister, and there will be two states and peace.”

The Arab MK stated that if, theoretically, he did enter into the coalition, he would want to be the culture minister.

“At least I’ve read Chekhov more than Miri Regev.”

“I’ll do anything to bring Jews and Arabs closer,” Odeh said.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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