In a historically unprecedented move, Abbas said that his party is willing to cooperate with Zionist parties in a coalition.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
MK Mansour Abbas, chair of the Islamic Ra’am party who may serve as kingmaker after Israel’s fourth round of inconclusive elections, is reportedly gearing up to make a speech in which he’ll call for Arab-Jewish unity and political cooperation.
In a historically unprecedented move, Abbas said that his party is willing to cooperate with Zionist parties in a coalition. He’s also said that he’ll work with parties on both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum as long as they pledge to honor his requests on behalf of the Arab community.
News site Srugim reported that Abbas will soon make a speech calling on the Arab public to support his decision to work with the Israeli government and asking Jewish Israelis to trust that his party is working on behalf of the Arab community to improve it.
Previously, Arab Israeli political parties have refused to join an Israeli government, in line with their anti-Zionist principles, preferring to remain in the opposition. This strategy has led to Arab Israeli parties sitting on the sidelines during lawmaking – an approach that Abbas would like to rethink.
While Abbas has said that his party would be willing to join a right-wing coalition, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the haredi parties, he has made it clear that he’s unwilling to partner with the Religious Zionism party.
During an interview with Channel 12 News on Monday evening, Abbas explained that sitting in a government with the Religious Zionism party was a step too far.
“Whoever thinks that Mansour Abbas will support the government that Ben Gvir and Smutrich exist in is actually saying of him, ‘I have finished my political career,’ and therefore such a scenario will not exist,” Abbas said.
“Ben Gvir is not just a red line, but the black line…Period. We will not wait for the one who disqualifies us to disqualify us. The one who calls for the exclusion of the Arabs has nothing to look for with us.”