Gaza attacks widen gap between Israel’s Arab parties, Gantz in coalition talks


An explosion caused by Israeli airstrikes seen in Gaza City, 14 November 2019

The possibility that the Arab Joint list will play some role in helping Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, create a minority government has all but ended with the latest strikes on the Gaza Strip and Gantz’s public support for the attacks.

Johnny Mansour, a Haifa-based historian and political science lecturer at Beit Berl College in Israel, told Al-Monitor talks between the Joint List and Gantz are over. “It is clear that these talks are over — while the discussion was never about joining the coalition but supporting it from outside with the aim of pushing [Benjamin] Netanyahu out [of coalition talks]. However, Netanyahu superseded this possibility by his attack on Gaza and forced Gantz’s hand by having the former chief of staff support the attacks on Gaza.”  Mansour concluded the result is clear: “Gantz is much closer to Netanyahu than he is to the Joint List.”

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Although they didn’t comment about coalition talks — and attempts to seek their response on the issue by Al-Monitor were not responded to — Joint List Knesset members were very vocal in their opposition to the attacks on Gaza.

Odeh, head of the Joint List who was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s top 100 rising stars, attacked Netanyahu when he tweeted Nov. 12 that the Israeli prime minister is acting in his own personal interest. “A cynical man who lost two consecutive elections will leave only scorched earth in a desperate attempt to remain in office,” Odeh tweeted, adding, “For 10 years, he has risen every morning with the aim of deepening the occupation [of the West Bank] and distancing the chances for peace.”

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