The resurgence of the Arab Joint List was one of the success stories of the election, and according to MK Ahmad Tibi the credit goes to— Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“Our campaign was asleep, weak, limping, just two weeks ago,” Tibi told Channel 12 on Wednesday.
“Then a week ago, someone, a magician [referring to the premier’s nickname for pulling political rabbits out of hats], set off alarm clocks at the entrances to every Arab town. That was Netanyahu. That was the cameras bill [to allow placing Likud’s cameras in Arab polling stations]. Suddenly the Arabs rushed to the polls in droves,” Tibi said.
Netanyahu continued to pursue his Arab strategy on Wednesday evening: “Now there are only two possibilities — a government led by me, or a dangerous government that depends on the Arabs. Now more than ever, with the vast security challenges that lie ahead for the country, a government must not be established that depends on anti-Zionist Arab parties. That’s our commitment to the country and to our voters,” Netanyahu said.
On the other end of the political spectrum,
Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz urged Benny Gantz to be open to partnering with Arab and chareidi parties despite his campaign rhetoric about a “secular unity government.”
“Don’t boycott the Arab public’s representatives in the Knesset,” Peretz says, “and not those of the chareidi public either.”