(March 5, 2020 / JNS) Joint List Party leader Ayman Odeh said on Thursday if Blue and White leader Benny Gantz must back down from the idea of a “Jewish majority” coalition and abandon efforts to extend Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria before the Joint List can recommend that he form Israel’s next government.
“Right now, with Gantz’s attitude [in favor] of a Jewish majority and unilateral annexation, we have no one to recommend to the president,” Odeh told Israel’s Kan news. “If there is a change after the elections in the direction of peace and equality, we will weigh our position again.”
Prior to Israel’s March 2 elections, Gantz said he would not partner with the controversial Joint Arab List, which appears to be the country’s third-largest party in the wake of the elections. That list of parties has said it prefers to comprise with a “Jewish majority” coalition.
Gantz was lambasted by non-Jewish Israelis for his use of the phrase and subsequently apologized, saying he really meant “Zionist majority.”
Also prior to elections, Gantz expressed his support for extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, conditioned on coordination with the international community. As of now, the only country which has expressed support for the move is the United States.
Despite opening the door to a coalition with Blue and White, Odeh appeared to then close it by refusing to sit in a government with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.
“We will not allow Lieberman to become a minister,” he said. “We will not surrender our role as a legitimate group in politics.” Yisrael Beiteinu has stated its support for transferring Israeli Arabs living near the Green Line to a future Palestinian state, a position that has been rejected by the majority of Israel’s Arab community.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.