Meir Cohen
Meir CohenHadas Parush, Flash 90

Welfare Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) has promised that his party will not sit in a coalition together with the Joint Arab List.

In an interview with 103 FM Radio, Cohen said, "The Joint List does not want to sit with anyone. Apparently their national identity is stronger than the thought of how to live within Israel. We have nothing to do with them."

Regarding possible cooperation with the haredi parties in the future, Cohen said, "We will be very happy if the haredim accept the principles of the government, that we with our partners will formulate, and they can come. I think that really, the time has come for as wide a government as possible."

Cohen's statement contradicts that of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid's chairman, in January last year.

At the time, Lapid told Channel 12 News he was prepared to form a government with the Joint Arab List, adding, "It is a pity that we did not do this in this Knesset. I hope to have a good relationship with the people of the Joint List."

Earlier this month, Lapid admitted that Yesh Atid is working together with the Joint Arab List, and justified relying on them.

"Every government has relied on the Joint List," he said. "There's nothing wrong with MKs trying to guarantee benefits for their constituency. Everyone does that. [MK Benjamin] Netanyahu did the same thing."