Anti-Zionist Arab MK: We provided Lapid-Bennett govt with safety net

Joint List provided previous government with a “safety net,” says MK , in exchange for funding and passage of legislation.

By World Israel News Staff

The Joint Arab List party quietly assisted the Lapid-Bennett government in exchange for passage of certain bills and state funding of projects for its constituents, a veteran Israeli Arab MK said over the weekend.

Speaking with Channel 12 Saturday night, MK Ahmad Tibi – a longtime lawmaker who once served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat – said that the Joint Arab List’s six Knesset Members provided the minority government with a “safety net,” delaying the dissolution of the 24th Knesset and the calling of new elections.

“We agreed to provide a safety net to the Bennett-Lapid coalition,” Tibi said.

“We agreed to delay the elections for a month at their request. I notified the coalition twice…they asked for an extension until the recess. We agreed to allow an extension until the recess, a month and a half, and then they collapsed from within.”

During this time, the Joint Arab List remained in the Opposition, even as it cooperated with the coalition.

In exchange, the Lapid government aided the Joint Arab List to pass laws it was promoting and secured funding for projects it supported.

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“We should not have been offered anything in return. During that time we passed laws, even though we were in the Opposition. The fact that there are fascists in this [incoming] government does not mean that the previous government was all wonderful. We agreed to provide a month’s safety net for the government in exchange for passing bills and budgets.”

Tibi downplayed his party’s cooperation with the Lapid government, however, and criticized its policies.

“We were interested in elections in February-March. When a government destroys the Negev, finances settlements more than the previous government, and damages the Al-Aqsa Mosque, then I need to bail it out.”

An amalgam of multiple anti-Zionist Arab factions, the Joint Arab List received six seats in the 2021 election before splitting apart ahead of this November’s general election, with Tibi’s Ta’al faction winning five seats in conjunction with the Hadash faction, while the Balad party failed to cross the electoral threshold.