Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'arצילום: אלעד מלכה

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar ruled out the possibility of forming a new government with the Joint Arab List after the upcoming Knesset election, vowing he would never agree to such an arrangement.

“I don’t know about [Prime Minister Yair Lapid],” Sa’ar told the Arabic news outlet Kol a-Nas Sunday evening. “I can only speak for Gideon Sa’ar and the National Unity party. We won’t agree to a government that relies on the Joint Arab List, period.”

“The solution now is to have a broad unity government, and the only person who can form such a government is Benny Gantz.”

Sa’ar, a former Likud member who bolted the party in 2020 to form the center-right New Hope party, formed an alliance with the center-left Blue and White party ahead of this fall’s election, with the two parties running on the National Unity ticket.

The Justice Minister said Joint Arab List lawmakers Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi – leaders of the Hadash and Ta’al factions within the Joint Arab List – had “radical”, “anti-Israel” policies that make them unsuitable for coalition partners.

“We know Odeh and Tibi’s positions very well, and they are radical, at times even anti-Israel.”

The recent split within the Joint Arab List, with the Arab nationalist Balad movement bolting from the ticket at the last minute Thursday as the party submitted its candidate slate to election officials, has fueled speculation Prime Minister Lapid could try to woo the remaining Joint Arab List factions after the election.

After the 2021 election, Balad refused to nominate any candidate for the premiership, while Hadash and Ta’al backed Yair Lapid.