Leaders of the Joint List expressed deep satisfaction on Tuesday night, September 17, with the interim results of the elections for the 22nd Knesset. They announced that they will be meeting in the days ahead to decide on their coming moves.
The Joint List MK’s and many Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists also said they were delighted that far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems not to have a majority to form a coalition. “We’re back to being the third largest party in the Knesset,” said Joint List head, Hadash MK Ayman Odeh and expressed hope that “the era of Netanyahu is over and he will now either have to go home or to prison.” Odeh agreed with observers that, if the final results indeed match the exit polls, Arab voters will have “prevented Netanyahu from forming a government.”
“I feel the energy in the public,” said Odeh yesterday during the course of Election Day. “We can bring about an historic achievement. I call on every voter to come to the polling station with friends and family. Every vote for the Joint List will allow us to fight for peace, equality and social justice for everyone. We will continue to fight the crime epidemic, for master building plans, and for budgets for education and infrastructure. No one will give us the influence and rights that we deserve; we need to take them by ourselves.”
The Joint List made a special appeal to Jewish voters in the final day before Tuesday’s election, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of racist incitement. “Who understands what it’s like to be persecuted like the Jews do?” Odeh asked. “Today, we [Arab-Palestinians in Israel] are a persecuted minority. Either we win together, or we will lose separately.” Odeh called for solidarity between Jews and Arabs in light of “wild incitement by Prime Minister Netanyahu against Arab citizens,” citing a message Netanyahu’s official Facebook page sent last week saying Arabs want to destroy Jews.
“It’s not all Jews against all Arabs and not all Arabs against all Jews,” he added. “It needs to be Jews and Arabs together. Jewish Israelis should support the Joint List out of shared interests and values, like peace, equality, democracy and social justice… which benefit 90% of Arabs and Jews,” Odeh said.
In that vein, over 100 Israeli academics signed an ad published in last weekend’s edition of Ha’aretz, calling on the Israeli Jewish public in Israel to vote for the Joint List. The headline of the ad read “We’re in! Are you?” and said the Joint List is “home for all those who believe in full civil and national equality for Arabs and Jews, ending the occupation, democracy, peace and social justice.” Signatories of the ad included academics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, the University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, the Technion and the Open University. In addition, academics from Tel-Hai College, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College, Sapir College, Shenkar College, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Bezalel Academy and Beit Berl College were also among the signatories.