MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List, expects that his party will receive eight Knesset seats in the upcoming elections, and believes that he will be able to prevent MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) from becoming prime minister.
In an interview with Yediot Aharonot, Odeh estimated that the United Arab List (Ra'am) will pass the electoral threshold, but that there is no chance it will become part of the Joint Arab List again.
"It's not realistic," Odeh said. "They are in one direction, and we are in another. They are willing to join any government, including with Netanyahu and Rabbi [Haim] Druckman. We have values that entail advancing peace and equality."
The Joint Arab List is comprised of three parties: Balad, Hadash, and Ta'al. Ra'am was part of the Joint Arab List until recently, when it split off from the other three and ran alone.
When asked for his opinion on Prime Minister Yair Lapid's (Yesh Atid) performance in his new role, Odeh said, "Since he has become prime minister, he leans center-right. And anyone who went in that direction, from [former Prime Minister] Ehud Barak to Lapid himself, lost the elections. The public is smart and it will prefer the real thing over the pale shadow of the real thing. This is what happened with the center-left from the time of [former Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin's assassination until now. That is why they are always becoming weaker."
Odeh also said that he does not know if he will recommend Lapid for prime minister the day after the elections: "It's too early to answer such a question. At the same time, we are not in the same situation we were when we recommended [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz (National Unity). At that time, Netanyahu was prime minister, and we wanted to take the leadership from him. Today there is a chance that we won't recommend anyone. There is a good chance we will recommend Ayman Odeh."
"The very fact that we have eight Knesset seats means Netanyahu will not be prime minister. I think this is an enormous contribution," he concluded.