The main Zionist opposition party, Kahol Lavan (Blue & White), said Thursday, August 22, that the Joint List is not a likely candidate to join a coalition they hope to lead after the September 17 elections. Blue & White MK Asaf Zamir told that “there is no possibility for cooperation with Odeh’s list.”
Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh is prepared to recommend that Kahol Lavan’s Benny Gantz form a government, and that the united slate of Joint List would be willing to join a center-left coalition, he told in a long interview published by the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper Friday morning.
MK Odeh’s comments drew ire from across the Zionist political spectrum, ranging from Kahol Lavan to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. In the interview, Odeh formulated a list of demands with regard to the end of the occupation of the Palestinian territories, welfare issues and Arab public needs. If Kahol Lavan accepts these terms, it would prepare the grounds for Joint List to join the government, for the first time in Israeli history. “We will be partners in a government only if Arab citizens of Israel are no longer considered second class,” Odeh said, noting that there was small chance that any of his demands would be met.
The report also says that he is requesting the repeal of the racist Nation-State Law and the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians. In a post Odeh published to Facebook on Thursday morning, he said that an additional requirement for joining the coalition would be ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Odeh also demanded stricter enforcement of gun laws in the Arab Israeli community, operations against crime organizations, and the establishment of an inter-governmental team to combat the high crime rates in Arab towns. Other demands were building a public hospital in an Arab city, raising elderly pensions, and increasing funding for women’s shelters.
Far-right Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan of the ruling Likud party was quick to react, tweeting that “now it is clear that whoever votes Kahol Lavan will likely get a left-wing government with a terror supporter.” He also attacked the demand for funds for women’s shelters.