Mansour Abbas
Mansour Abbas Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Ra'am chairman MK Mansour Abbas believes that his party could win seven to ten seats in the next elections following the dissolution of the Knesset.

In an interview with wazcam news24, Abbas was asked if he would be a partner in a coalition formed by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is speaking with the leaders of parties in both the coalition and the opposition, and requesting to be granted a period of seven days to hold negotiations for forming a new government without calling new elections. Shaked has done all she could to prevent the 'reunification' of families of Palestinian Authority residents with Israeli Arab citizens in Israel.

"This time I will come and say that my condition for joining the coalition is to appoint a minister who will cooperate on this issue [of family reunification]," Abbas replied.

Abbas noted that "our red lines are civil, national, religious and human rights, and we will not give them up."

"There will be no situation in which we are forced to give up any right," he said. Abbas added that "the incursions in the Al Aqsa Mosque (meaning visits to the Temple Mount by Jews) are illegal and that Ra'am is doing everything in its power to prevent them. This is a red line for us and cannot be crossed."

He demanded a return to the 'status quo i'n accordance with the Jordanian custodianship of the Temple Mount and mentioned that he was scheduled to meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II on this issue.

Abbas detailed the role played by the Islamic Movement and Ra'am in supporting the Islamic and Arab character of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque, noting that other politicians, alluding to the Joint Arab List MKs, did nothing for Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque outside of slogans and photo ops.

Referring to the claim that Ra'am is part of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Abbas said: "We are not Muslim Brotherhood we are a local Islamic movement" which "promotes the Islamic, Arab and Palestinian cause and opposes racism, fascism and exclusion."

In response to claims that Ra'am has engaged in "taqiyah," a doctrine which allows one to lie to deceive an enemy, in order to join the coalition, Abbas said that Ra'am's political goals are the realization of full and equal citizenship and rights for Israeli Arabs, the preservation of Palestinian Arab identity, and continuing to serve as a bridge between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel to establish peace and establish a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and in eastern Jerusalem alongside the State of Israel.

Abbas stressed: "We will not be partners with fascists and racists and people who want to forcibly take away from us our basic right to full political participation and the exercise of our rights." According to him, Ra'am is the party which brought an end to Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year run as prime minister.

In an implicit reference, Abbas called Netanyahu and MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir fascists and racists who fear that the Arabs will exercise their right to vote and participate in the political arena. He accused them as wanting the Arabs to stay in their houses and not exercise their right to vote, adding that his hope is to bring out a large turnout of Israeli Arab voters in the upcoming elections.

Asked directly about joining the next coalition, Abbas said: "We will not participate in a government where we will not be able to preserve the rights of our society and bring achievements and solutions to the problems our Arab society suffers from." He added that "we will conduct our political moves carefully, wisely and logically. Whoever dismisses us, we will dismiss him and we have proven this (through Netanyahu's removal from power) and I do not need to clarify further on this issue."