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Israeli Arab party says ready to join a center-left coalition

It seems that the statement by Joint List leader Ayman Odeh about joining a Blue and White-led coalition was, first of all, meant to encourage Israeli Arabs to vote.
Ayman Odeh, leader of Hadash-Ta'al party, attends a hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RC18080E1180

“I am ready to join a center-left government,” declared Knesset member Ayman Odeh, chairman of the predominantly Arab-unified Joint List Party, in an interview with journalist Nahum Barnea that appeared in Yedioth Ahronoth on Aug. 30. This raises an important question: Was he giving people real grounds for hope, or was it just election spin? Given the circumstances, it looks like the answer is a resounding yes to both questions.

Anyone who keeps track of Knesset member Odeh’s remarks will remember that in April 2019, during round one of the current elections, he said in an interview with the Globes newspaper that he would not rule out supporting a Blue and White coalition from the outside. This time, Odeh went a few steps further by saying that he would actually join such a coalition, with the express purpose of being part of the government. If the unprecedented happens and an Arab party is part of the next coalition, it would change all the rules of the game. 

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