MK Shelach: We Will Indeed Rely on Arabs to Oppose Netanyahu Gov’t

Blue and White MK Ofer Shelach. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

With the final results of voting for the 23rd Knesset nearly in, it appears that the rightwing bloc will consist of 58 MKs – which leaves 62 MKs in the opposition. And Blue and White MK Ofer Shelach said that the party would “use its majority in the new Knesset, including the United Arab List, to act against Binyamin Netanyahu.” One of the basic tenets of the Likud campaign was that Blue and White would rely on the Arab list in order to install a center-left government.

Shelach said he was responding to comments by Netanyahu Wednesday, who said that despite the fact that the right did not reach 61 MKs, it had the large majority of votes by “Jewish, Zionist voters,” since the Arab party would not be included in any coalition. In a social media post, Shelech said that Netanyahu’s comments were “a declaration of war by him against a Jewish and democratic Israel. Israel’s founding fathers, including Ze’ev Jabotinsky,” founder of the Revisionist movement from which the Likud is ideologically descended, “considered Arabs and non-Zionists to be be fully equal citizens. In Netanyahu’s Israel they have no voice and no representation in the democratic game.”

There is “a majority in the Knesset for the State of Israel and against the State of Netanyahu,” Shelach said. “We will activate this majority without hesitation in order to bring about our vision of what the state should be.” Shelach did not detail that vision, but presumably it is the one touted by Blue and White during the election campaign, including public transportation and commerce on Shabbos, allowing non-halachic marriages and divorces, and so on.

In his comments Wednesday, Netanyahu said that Benny Gantz would try to form a government “with supporters of terror. He is trying to deny the will of the people,” who made the Likud the largest party. The leftists together with Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party have 47 MKs. The United Arab List opposes the right of the Jewish people to settle its land, and they cannot be counted in this formula” of who should be in the government. “The truth must be told – I got more votes than anyone in the history of the country. Gantz himself said that the candidate who gets even one mandate more must be the one to form a government. We got a lot more mandates,” he added.