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Arab parties support Benny Gantz as Israeli leader to end Netanyahu's influence



JERUSALEM – After 27 years of deciding who should lead Israel, the Arab legislature on Sunday recommended that Benny Gantz, the former head of the centrist army, get the first chance to pass a government over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a watershed make statement of political power.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Arab joint list, wrote Sunday in an Op-Ed of The New York Times that the 13 new legislators of the Alliance – the third largest faction in the newly elected parliament – would have done so to Mr. Gantz because "this would create the majority needed to prevent Mr. Netanyahu from taking another term".

"It should be the end of his political career," wrote Mr. Odeh.

The Arab Legislators The recommendation of Mr. Odeh and other members of the Joint List to President Reuven Rivlin in a personal meeting on Sunday evening reflected the impatience of Arab citizens to integrate and behave more in Israeli society. Israeli lawmakers give their concerns more weight.

"There is no doubt that what we are doing now has a historical aspect," Odeh said at the meeting with the President, which was broadcast live.

It was also a remarkable act of indifference for Netanyahu, who for years had brought his right-wing followers together by inflaming anti-Arab sentiments. Prior to the September 17 elections, he accused Arab politicians of trying to steal the elections and accused them of "destroying us all".

Israeli Arabs "have chosen to reject Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of fear and hatred and the inequality and division he has promoted over the last decade."

Nonetheless, Mr. Odeh wrote that the Common List would not be led by a government by Mr Gantz because he had not agreed to implement the whole "Equality Agenda" – combating violent crime in Arab cities, changing housing and planning laws to treat Arab and Jewish neighborhoods alike, improving Arab access to hospitals, raising pensions and preventing violence against women, including Arab villages without water and electricity, resuming peace talks with the Palestinians and repealing last year's law, which declared Israel the nation-state of only the Jewish people.

The last time Ara b The legislature recommended 1992 e Prime Minister, when two Arab parties with a total of five seats in Parliament recommended Yitzhak Rabin, although they did not join his government.

"We have decided to demonstrate that Arab Palestinian citizens can no longer be rejected or ignored," wrote Odeh.

In the 1992 election, Mr. Rabin initially had a narrow majority in the 120-seat Knesset, even without the support of the Arab parties, although he wanted to rely on it for a year. Later, after Shas, an ultra-Orthodox party, headed the government left as Rabin signed the Oslo peace agreement.

Mr. Odeh wrote that the decision to support Mr Gantz was "a clear message that the only future for this country is a common future and there is no common future without the full and equal participation of Palestinian citizens." , Gantz has just left the Prime Minister in the national elections last Tuesday. Afterwards, both candidates agreed but were divided as to how this should be achieved.

The former army chief seems to have a majority of 61 seats despite the support of the Common List. He emerged from the 57-seat election, including the Left and Common List allies, compared to 55 seats for Netanyahu and his right-wing allies.

Avigdor Liberman, leader of the secular right wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, who won eight seats, is able to be a kingmaker, but said on Sunday that he would not recommend a candidate. He said that Mr. Odeh and the Common List are not just political opponents, but "the enemies" and belong to the "Parliament in Ramallah", not the Knesset.

Rivlin began listening to the recommendations of each major party on Sunday night and was due to end Monday before taking on the task of forming a government for which the candidate believes he has the best chance of succeeding.

At the Beginning of the Process Rivlin said the Israeli public wanted a unity government that included both the Gantz Blue-White Party and Netanyahu's Likud.


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