“Every vote counts the same in Israel, and Netanyahu is well aware of that,” said Blue and White leader Benny Gantz on March 7, responding to remarks made three days earlier by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that appeared to imply that he rejects the very idea of the Arab Joint List, with its 15 Knesset seats, participating in the political arena. “The people’s decision is clear,” Netanyahu had said. “The right-wing Zionist camp consists of 58 seats. The left-wing Zionist camp, including [Yisrael Beitenu’s Avigdor] Liberman who has joined it, consists of 47 seats. The Joint List, which denigrates our soldiers and opposes the very existence of the State of Israel … is of course not part of this equation.”
Since the release of the results from the March 2 election Netanyahu has seemed tense. He even looks pale. For one thing, he realizes that the end of his time in office is fast approaching. How absurd it is that his political fate is about to be determined by the 581,501 votes that the Joint List received, including more than 20,000 of them from Jews. It looks like Netanyahu and his associates are going out of their minds over the possibility that the same Arab community that Netanyahu and his Likud have incited against relentlessly and even legislated against — e.g., the Nationality Law on the Jewish nature of the state of Israel, the Kaminitz Law, making it easier to demolish Arab homes — might have a voice in deciding who will be the next prime minister.