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Israeli-Arab lawmakers could bring an end to the Netanyahu era

Recently elected lawmakers know their public won’t forgive them if they don’t put an end to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule and its incitements.
Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, gestures as he hands out pamphlets during an an election campaign event in Tira, northern Israel September 5, 2019. Picture taken September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC131423B620

On Oct. 23, while President Reuven Rivlin was officially tasking Blue and White leader Benny Gantz with forming Israel’s next government, the heads of the Joint List — a unified slate of predominantly Arab parties — were meeting to discuss a unified approach to possible support for such a government. Head of the Joint List Ayman Odeh and Knesset member Ahmad Tibi, respectively the chairs of the Hadash and Ta’al parties, which are the two major parties that form the Joint List alliance, understand their voters want an end to the Netanyahu era and the only option is an alternative government — despite its drawbacks.

They and their constituents have not forgotten that Gantz’s campaign prior to the April elections was launched with a video clip featuring the former head of the Israel Defense Forces alongside a body count of the Palestinians killed under his command in the 2014 war with Gaza. Yet Odeh and Tibi are still willing to support a government with him at the helm if he can send Netanyahu home and end his incessant incitement against Israel’s 21% Arab minority.

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