The head of the predominantly Arab Joint List party, MK Ahmad Tibi, was interviewed on Thursday morning on Reshet Bet, and refused to condemn Sunday’s terrorist attack at the Tapuah junction that injured two and killed Yehuda Guetta Hy”d.
“The occupation is the source of all evil,” Tibi said, when asked to comment on the attack, and then clarified, “I want to spare lives, and therefore, I hope for peace and the end to the occupation.”
Tibi was also asked to comment on the ongoing political stalemate, with no party appearing to have a realistic chance of forming a coalition, despite seemingly endless election cycles. With the mandate to form a coalition now having been passed to MK Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party, Tibi was asked whether his Joint List might potentially join the “bloc for change” and enter a government, which would make it only the second time in the history of the State that Arabs have been part of a ruling coalition.
“This is a very difficult matter,” Tibi replied. “Following the previous round of elections, we were close to a historic breakthrough with [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz. This time, our demands for entering a coalition are similar, and Lapid has already agreed to many of them.”
Tibi was referring to the period during which Benny Gantz, head of the Blue & White party, had joined with MK Yair Lapid in a bid to unseat Binyamin Netanyahu as premier. Instead of keeping his campaign promises, however, Gantz abandoned Lapid and joined with Netanyahu to form a unity government, after being promised that he would serve as Prime Minister in a rotation deal that ultimately was not honored.
“During his election campaign [this time around], Lapid said that he was in favor of including the Joint List in any coalition he formed,” noted Tibi, adding, “and that was a courageous statement to make.”
However, the Joint List head also warned that his party would not join any coalition in which MKs Naftali Bennett, head of the Yamina party, or Gideon Sa’ar, head of the New Hope party, are given senior roles. “We will not support such a government,” he stated.