Mansour Abbas
Mansour Abbas Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

MK Mansour Abbas, who chairs the United Arab List (Ra'am) party, has claimed that he received requests from many Jews to remain in the coalition, despite the fact that many in his party want him to leave it.

"There is disappointment, yes, there are mistakes, yes. There was an escalation during the month of Ramadan, yes. But this is awful, to compare the functioning of this government to the functioning of the Netanyahu government. I received many requests from Arab citizens, but mostly from Jewish citizens, who ask, 'Stay.' And that lets you see things in a broader fashion," Abbas told Yediot Aharonot.

When asked if his decision to remain in the coalition was influenced by the fact that his party is not expected to pass the electoral threshold in the coming elections, Abbas said, "I never pay attention to the polls and I don't plan my steps based on polls. Otherwise we would not have run in the last elections. Until the last days prior to the elections, we did not pass the electoral threshold. I am not building a policy and processes based on the public's opinion."

"What concerns us is not the polls but the achievements which we are bringing the Arab sector. Those wiser than me said, 'Polls - you smell them, but you don't base a workplan on them."

In Abbas' opinion, the right thing to do is to try to add the haredi parties to the coalition, to give it more stability.

"The coalition needs to make an effort and to invest in bringing some of the haredim," he said. "I also asked that they advance plans for the haredi community, and I even offered some of the budget we received to provide programs for haredi society. In my opinion, we need to think about this issue and integrate the haredim into the coalition."

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