Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Netanyahu canvasses for Arab votes in election campaign

An Arab Israeli woman votes in the country's parliamentary elections at a polling station in the Arab city of Tamra in northern Israel on 2 March 2020. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
An Arab Israeli woman votes in the country's parliamentary elections at a polling station in the Arab city of Tamra in northern Israel on 2 March 2020. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been canvassing Arab citizens in Israel for their votes in the upcoming General Election, Quds Press reported on Sunday. Netanyahu is also the leader of the Likud Party.

According to Quds Press, official Israeli radio reported Netanyahu telling closed Likud meetings that he is planning to allocate a guaranteed place for an Arab candidate on the party's electoral list. He also said that he might even choose an Arab as a minister.

"We are not against the Arab citizens," Netanyahu apparently insisted. "We are only against the Arab parties which do not recognise the state of Israel and Zionism."

The Likud leader is said to want to "break the veto" in the hands of the Arab parties related to the Arab citizens. "This would be in the same way that I have broken the veto, which was in the hands of the Palestinians, related to making relations with the Arab states."

Netanyahu expects that the Likud could get two seats from Arab votes. He has visited some Arab areas to promote coronavirus vaccination and point out to the local citizens that he has paid NIS15m ($4.68m) to fight domestic crime within Arab communities.

Although he criticised the large turnout of Arab citizens in the 2015 election, he is hoping to see them turn out "in droves" to vote for him this time round. He insists that he has helped Israel's Arab communities more than any previous prime minister.

Arab MK Abbas Mansour, who was a Netanyahu supporter until recently, called for him to look for votes in Jewish, not Arab areas.

READ: Netanyahu asked '315 times' for favourable media coverage

Categories
IsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNews
Show Comments
Order your copy of our latest book - Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy - Palestine
Show Comments