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Can Arab parties oust Netanyahu without empowering Liberman?

Though its constituency's top priority is toppling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Joint List has not forgotten the vitriol expressed over the years by Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman.
Memebers of the Joint List party, sits next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as he began talks with political parties over who should form a new government, at his residence in Jerusalem September 22, 2019. Menachen Kahana/Pool via REUTERS - RC1545ABB3C0
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The events of the past two days — the killing of Islamic Jihad senior Bahaa Abu el-Atta and the ensuing rocket fire from Gaza — only worsened the dilemma Arab-Israeli Knesset members are facing. Just a few hours before Abu el-Atta was killed, knowing that this action would provoke a conflict with Gaza and generate rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a warning to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz over coalition talks. Netanyahu warned Gantz against considering a minority government supported by the Joint List, tweeting that Arab Knesset member "Ahmad Tibi once wrote about [PLO leader] Yasser Arafat that he will stay in their hearts forever. This is the man Gantz and [Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor] Liberman are counting on for a government? A minority government supported by the Arab parties equals danger to Israel."

The prevailing atmosphere in Israel would surely make it difficult on Gantz, and more so on Liberman, to establish such a government. But also within the Joint List, which was considering supporting a Gantz government from the outside, things have changed. Knesset members Aida Touma-Sliman and Ofer Kasif demonstrated against the killing of Abu el-Atta, and the Likud was quick to repeat its claim that the Arab lawmakers keep supporting terrorists.

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