Netanyahu's fears come true as Ayman Odeh likely to become first Arab opposition leader in Israel's Knesset
(Worthy News) - High Arab voter turnout has slated the pro-Palestinian Joint List to become the main opposition party in Israel’s next Knesset.
The Arab-dominated bloc consisting of four smaller parties won 13 parliamentary seats as election results trickled in Thursday, making it the third-largest contingent behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and rival Benny Gantz’s Blue and White, which garnered 31 and 33 seats respectively.
“It is an interesting position, never before held by someone from the Arab population,” Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List and frontrunner for opposition leader, told reporters. “This is an important platform to meet with the prime minister and meet world leaders and tell them about the Nation-State Law.”
Israeli media portrayed Netanyahu as caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy by which his special focus during the campaign on the necessity of averting “a dangerous government leaning on Arabs” helmed by Gantz produced the very result he feared, the longtime Prime Minister has warned that “the Palestinian Authority’s official message said to go out to bring down Netanyahu.”
Odeh and the Joint List are likely to be more a thorn in the side than a politically effective force in relation to either Netanyahu or Gantz as Prime Minister, however, as the official platform of Gantz’s Blue and White, in step with Likud, sees “the Jordan Valley [as] the eastern security border of the state of Israel” and “a united Jerusalem [as] the eternal capital of Israel.”