Mansour Abbas
Mansour Abbas Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Ra'am chairman MK Mansour Abbas called the potential return of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power "the greatest danger" to the Israeli Arab community in an interview with Al Arabiya news Wednesday.

"It is absolutely clear that Netanyahu wants to return to power with Religious Zionism led by Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, who are known for racism on the one hand and fascism on the other, and there is a great danger that he (Netanyahu) will return," Abbas said.

In response to a question regarding Netanyahu's position that he will never allow Ra'am to join a coalition led by him, Abbas answered that "it does not matter what Benjamin Netanyahu says. What matters is what Ra'am will do. We have moved from a state of reaction in political activity to a state of initiative and forcing the other side to listen to us, and addressing Israeli Jewish society directly, neither through pleading nor through appealing to leaders. We influence the leaders through our direct relationship with Israeli Jewish society."

Abbas added: "Netanyahu's fate, as I mentioned, depends on our course of action in the election. The more we succeed in increasing the turnout in Arab society, the less likely it is that Benjamin Netanyahu will cross the 60-seat line out of 120, thus moving far away from a government headed by him."

According to Abbas, "It all depends on what the Arab voter does. There are a million Arab voters in Israel, and a million voters are enough to create change in the political map and in the Knesset."

He said that he is proud of his role in ending Netanyahu's 12-year reign as prime minister. "In practice, the one who sent Netanyahu to the opposition after 12 years in power is Mansour Abbas and Ra'am."

Abbas emphasized the political achievements of Ra'am within the current coalition, saying: “We in this coalition have managed to establish ourselves as a political player without relinquishing any of our rights whether they are national, civil, religious and other rights."

Referring to the identity of Israeli Arabs, Abbas said: "We are part of the Arab and Islamic nation, we are part of the Palestinian people, and we realize our Palestinian identity within the special circumstances that exist for us as citizens of the State of Israel."

Abbas sharply attacked the joint list and accused it of taking a very negative political line that did not prevent the fall of the government. "Political delusions are dominant in their behavior," Abbas said.