Mansour Abbas: We have no ability, influence to stop the operation

The post came as Joint List politicians joined protests in a number of locations across the country against the operation.  

 SITTING AS Knesset deputy speaker, MK Mansour Abbas presides over a debate in the plenum last week. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
SITTING AS Knesset deputy speaker, MK Mansour Abbas presides over a debate in the plenum last week.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

It is futile for Israel’s Arabs to condemn the Knesset’s Arab parties because they do not have any influence on decision-making in matters of national security, Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas argued on his Facebook account Saturday in response to Operation Breaking Dawn.

The post, written in Arabic, was Abbas’ response to criticism leveled at him by Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the Islamic Movement’s deputy leader who attacked Abbas and Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh; Abbas for being “part of a coalition that is bombing Gaza” and the Odeh for recommending Defense Minister Benny Gantz as prime minister earlier in the current election cycle.

“War is an opportunity to confront reality,” his post began.

“[I am] beginning to wonder why we are always looking out for our own skin right after every event? Then I wonder about the demand to take a stance on war, and can we only denounce and reject the war and condemn the occurrence and innocent casualties?! I am most surprised by the accusations against the Arab parties, as if the war was started and stopped by these parties,” Abbas wrote.

“After all I have read and heard, today I see an opportunity to face one another with the truth. And I’m talking about all Arab parties, whether Ra’am which entered the coalition, which has practically ended after the dissolution of the Knesset, or the other parties, which are under attack for recommending Gantz [for Prime Minister earlier in the current election cycle], or favoring others,” Abbas wrote.

 Mansour Abbas attends a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS) Mansour Abbas attends a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

"Today I see an opportunity to face each other with the truth. And I'm talking about all Arab parties, whether Ra'am which entered the coalition, which practically ended after the dissolution of the Knesset."

Mansour Abbas

“The truth is that Arab parties have no actual influence regarding security and foreign decisions in the country. Anyone who says otherwise is selling illusions to our people and society.”

Abbas has been making this argument ever since he joined the coalition, but writing it during the hostilities themselves is rare.

“On this very basis, [Ra’am] chose to be part of the coalition, not the government, and rejected ministerial portfolios, so as not to be present in the discussion about war decisions and other difficult decisions for us as Arabs.

“The most important role that we as Arab representatives can play in parliament is to take care of issues [having to do with] the Arab community and obtaining their rights… Our decision to enter the coalition was because [we] could not solve the burning issues of the Arab community from outside of the circle of influence,” Abbas wrote.

"Working for the benefit of society"

“Although I have been in parliament for a relatively short time, I have worked and met for the benefit of our society with Netanyahu, Bennett, Gantz, Lapid and others, and I can say from experience that there is no difference between them in foreign affairs and security.

“Portraying parliament as a national struggle is a mistake and a delusion, and Arab parties should recognize this fact. There are other battlegrounds that have their role and mechanisms of action, and we in parliament must define… our role with absolute transparency in front of the people … realistically and logically,” Abbas concluded.

The post came as Joint List politicians joined protests in a number of locations across the country against the operation.