Historic move in Israel as Arab-majority parties back mainstream Zionist politician for PM since Rabin in 92

epa07861869 Members of the Joint List Ayman Odeh (C) speaks to the press in the presence of Ahmad Tibi (R), Osama Saadi (L) and Mansour Abbas (2nd-L) following their consulting meeting with Israeli President, to decide who to task with trying to form a new government, in Jerusalem, Israel, 22 September 2019. Consultations to form the inconclusive general election, with neither Netanyahu's Likud-led coalition nor the Blue and White party, led by former military chief of staff Benny Gantz, winning enough seats to form a majority government. EPA-EFE/MENAHEM KAHANA / POOL

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Israel’s Arab-dominated Joint List party on Sunday backed Benny Gantz to form a new government, making his bloc of supporters larger than that of Benjamin Netanyahu, though still neither commanded a majority.

The Times of Israel reports “In a dramatic shift, the Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties recommended Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for prime minister on Sunday, seemingly paving the way for the centrist party to get the first crack at assembling a coalition.

The decision marked the first time Arab parties — separately or together — have recommended a mainstream Zionist politician since 1992, when they supported Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin, who campaigned on peace with the Palestinians.”

“We have seen the most difficult election since 1948 in terms of the incitement against Israel’s Arab citizens,” Joint List leader Ayman Odeh told President Reuven Rivlin upon issuing his party’s recommendation. “We have been turned into a group that is not legitimate in Israeli politics. If we are being pushed out, we will take our rightful place. For us, the most important thing is to remove Benjamin Netanyahu from power.”

Via Euronews/ TimesofIsrael

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