Mansour Abbas
Mansour AbbasAvshalom Sassoni/Flash90

United Arab List (Ra'am) party chairman Mansour Abbas addressed the Knesset in both Arabic and Hebrew Sunday, discussing his decision to support the incoming national unity government led by Naftali Bennett (Yamina) and Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid).

In his address, made during a special session of the Knesset convened to vote on the new government, Abbas rejected claims by right-wing critics that the new government had 'sold out' the Negev by recognizing illegal Bedouin settlements.

"No one sold out the Negev," said Abbas. "It will remain a part of the State of Israel. Our vision is to live in peace, equality, and cooperation."

Abbas also vowed, in Arabic, that his party would "return the lands which were appropriated from our people."

"This is a national act of the highest order."

Religious Zionist Party chief Bezalel Smotrich responded to Abbas' comments, saying: "So Abbas is once again putting on a spectacular show of hypocrisy, with a nationalistic speech in Arabic in which he says the truth; a speech full of soothing words in Hebrew intended for Jewish listeners who are blind and deaf, especially those who make themselves so."