Mansour Abbas
Mansour AbbasYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Mansour Abbas is pleased with his Ra’am party entering the government and claims that this is a "tremendous political achievement."

In an interview with journalist Yuval Karni at the Yediot Aharonot conference on Monday, Abbas did not rule out joining a government led by Benjamin Netanyahu in the future. "We did not position ourselves on one side of Israeli politics - neither on the right nor on the left," he said.

"Anyone who comes to us, we will negotiate with him, at different stages and for different purposes. We set a principle that we do not disqualify anyone and anyone who does not disqualify us, we will not disqualify him. Anyone who disqualifies us probably also disqualifies himself."

Abbas commented on the negotiations he held with Netanyahu after the last election. "There were different goals in the various stages of the negotiations. In one of the stages, we talked about a coalition agreement and we talked about a partnership with Ra’am. We met in Balfour (the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem -ed.) several times."

On Ra’am joining the current coalition, he said, "Everyone doubted whether we could move forward. Let's not forget that a year ago we tried to form another government and we recommended Benny Gantz and it did not work out. So we did a kind of detour and in the end we managed to form a right-center-left-and-Arab government."

"I think the government can fulfill its term. All the partners understand that there is tremendous potential here, that there is hope and something new. Note that the entire world - almost every delegation that comes to Israel - meets with me and listens etc. The whole world looks and asks these questions, and even begins to want to learn what are we doing in order to use it themselves. We are only at the beginning of the road, but there is no doubt that there is potential here for a model of political imitation that can be used by entire societies," said the Ra’am chairman.

Abbas described his relationship with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as "very good".

"I am always told that I made a brave move. But so did Bennett. At the first meeting we had, after two hours of conversation he made a decision. 'Mansour, we will not do it in a closed room. Let’s issue a statement that we held a discussion.' This is the courage of a leader and that is why he is the Prime Minister today and not Netanyahu."