Mansour Abbas: Nuclear Iran Not an Existential Threat to Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ra’am party chairman Mansour Abbas. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

MK Mansour Abbas, the head of the Ra’am party, said at a cultural event in Be’er Sheva, “I don’t see the Iranian nuclear issue as an existential threat to Israel. There is certainly a threat, but we’ll leave that to the professionals.”

Speaking Motzoei Shabbos, Abbas also said that he would not rule out a political collaboration with the Likud party in the future. He declined to reveal what former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered him in the last election. “My political partners are also pushing me to release things,” he said.

Asked for his opinion on Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman, a man many on the Left had once decried as a racist due to his positions on Arab Israelis, the Ra’am chief said, “There’s no doubt that today, I see a stately finance minister and stately political leader who relates to everyone and tries to promote everyone’s interests.

“I am familiar with all of Liberman’s opinions and slogans in the past, they are all in a process. A system of trust is beginning to develop with people. Lieberman and [Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett are partners and that is very much appreciated,” he said.

Commenting on the Palestinian issue, Abbas said, “I hope that all the Palestinian factions will begin to look differently at the conflict with Israel and understand that there is a possibility to create something new. I believe our success, meaning Ra’am’s [success], will also influence them.”

Asked about President Yitzchak Herzog’s planned participation at a Chanukah lighting in Chevron at Mearas Hamachpeilah on Sunday night, Abbas said, “We need to be incredibly careful when it comes to issues of religion because that’s when politics stop working and only emotions come through. As soon as there is harm or such a game is played with religious sensitivities, people cease being rational. I am concerned by any act that tries to take advantage of religious beliefs – to try and turn it into a political tool. We will pay a price. We must be smart and not right.”