Arab Party Leader Digs at Rival Faction Breakaway: 'Netanyahu Used You'

Speaking at a Haaretz conference ahead of next week's election, the Joint List's Ayman Odeh urges Israeli center-left parties to build a new path based on more than 'Anyone but Netanyahu'

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Joint List leader Ayman Odeh at the Haaretz conference on Tuesday
Joint List leader Ayman Odeh at the Haaretz conference on TuesdayCredit:

Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List alliance of predominantly Arab parties, said on Tuesday that Mansour Abbas, whose United Arab List broke away from the alliance ahead of election, apparently "doesn't understand that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu used him."

Speaking at a Haaretz conference on Jewish-Arab partnership in Israeli politics, held with 'Have You Seen the Horizon Lately' Odeh also said that center-left parties should construct a new path that isn't based only on the slogan of “Anyone but Netanyahu.”

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In a conversation with Haaretz correspondent Noa Landau, the Joint List leader added he believes this path lies through building a society based on equality and social justice. According to him, it means Jewish Israelis have to realize neither Arabs nor Jews can't do this on their own, without the other group.

Odeh said that his party's formal endorsement of Benny Gantz for prime minister, in a rare move for an Arab party, after the latest general election last year, was a step on the road to their own legitimization, and a “historically courageous move.”

On the feasibility of a potential joint Jewish-Arab party, Odeh said that if there were such an initiative, the Joint List must be at its core.

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