Ra’am party leader pleaded for more Arabs to vote, said right wing wants to ‘deport’ them

“Will we allow Smotrich and Ben- Gvir to deport us by ship?” Abbas asked rhetorically.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

MK Mansour Abbas, leader of the Arab Ra’am Party (United Arab List), begged Arab Israelis on election night to come out and vote. His words of desperation came as reports indicate a meager voting rate among Arab Israelis against an overall national voting rate significantly higher than in recent elections.

Speaking to his supporters and to all Arab Israelis, Abbas said that “400,000 Arabs voted while 600,000 stayed at home. This is just about the lowest Arab turnout in 20 years compared to the highest Jewish turnout in 20 years.”

“I urge you all to get out and vote,” he declared.

But that was not all. In an attempt to stir up his base, Abbas alluded to what Israel’s Arab communities can expect, in his opinion, should there be a new right-wing government in Israel that includes the Religious Zionism party led by Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. Abbas claimed that they want to force Arab Israelis out of the country.

“Will we allow Smotrich and Ben- Gvir to deport us by ship?” he asked his constituents rhetorically.

In fact, the Religious Zionism leaders have advocated deporting terrorists, but not peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

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“My vision is a proud, strong Jewish state. I have no problem with our minorities—provided they are law-abiding citizens—but I do have a problem with those who raise a hand against our police and soldiers,” Ben-Gvir told JNS recently.

Earlier in the day, Abbas accused rival Arab party Hadash-Ta’al of “stealing” his party’s votes in Tuesday’s Knesset elections. In an exclusive interview, he told TPS, “He who wanted to save Hadash-Ta’al is endangering the very existence of Ra’am.”

An Islamist party, Ra’am is part of the current government coalition.

World Israel News contributed to this report.