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Odeh calls on Gantz to ‘show courage,’ invite Arab parties to join government

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh calls on Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a minority government that includes the Arab-majority parties.

In an Channel 13 interview, Odeh urges Gantz “to act with courage” and invite the Joint List to join the coalition negotiations.

Gantz was tasked with forming the next government yesterday by the president, after Netanyahu failed to do so.

Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh speaks at the party’s Hebrew-language campaign launch in Tel Aviv on August 20, 2019. (Gili Yaari/Flash90 )

But Gantz faces steep odds in every possible path to forming a government. He has been endorsed by just 54 lawmakers representing an array of parties that are unlikely to sit together in a coalition.

One option would be to form a minority government with Avigdor Lieberman, who emerged as kingmaker after his party won eight seats and has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. Gantz might be able to convince the Joint List, which won 13 seats, to support the coalition from the outside.

That would bring down Netanyahu but result in a highly unstable government. It’s also far from clear that Liberman, a nationalist with a history of harsh rhetoric toward the Arab minority, would support such a scheme. No Arab party has ever sat in an Israeli government.

— with AP

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