Armed with their union, Arab parties could take the lead of the Israeli opposition

In the case of a coalition government excluding the Ayman Odeh list, the latter, with 13 deputies, could become the first Arab parliamentarian to lead the opposition.

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The leader of the Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, on September 17 in Haifa. Ariel Schalit / AP

We must see leaders of Arab parties shine in the Israeli media since Wednesday, September 18, the day after the Israeli elections, to take the measure of a moment, probably ephemeral: here they are extricating themselves from the margins of Israeli political life. Against all odds, the second united list of their history, after that of 2015, mobilized an electorate that remained confused and apathetic, especially the youngest: they get 13 seats in Parliament, according to results still not final.

They can now play an important role, recommending to the president, Reuven Rivlin, the candidate who seems to them the most likely to form a government. It will not be Mr. Netanyahu, warned their leader, Ayman Odeh, who is working to return to the prime minister the blows of his campaign.

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Mr. Netanyahu has used too much of the fear of the Arab vote to mobilize his base. This tactic eventually pushed his scapegoats to the polls. "Incitement to hate has a price, Abu Yair"said Odeh Wednesday to the father of young Yair Netanyahu, whose provocations regularly exceed those of the prime minister.

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The recommendation of a prime minister is not obvious, for the Arab parties: they have never done that for Yitzhak Rabin, in 1992, before the Oslo peace agreement. They are also scared by the refusal of Netanyahu's main rival, Benny Gantz, to include them in a unity government, after the unpublished opening that Mr. Odeh had sent him at the end of August.

Access to security reports

Such an association remains radioactive to Gantz, even though the two men agreed to meet. "After the previous elections in April, I contacted (Mr Gantz) and I told him he was running a racist campaign when he said he would not sit with Arabs. I asked him to change direction. The truth is he did it »said Mr. Odeh on Wednesday, conciliatory.

Considering for a long time a unity government without the Arab parties, Mr. Odeh has another ambition: "We will be the largest opposition group, and I will become the first Arab parliamentarian to lead the opposition", he predicted World, as of September 11th.

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This official status requires monthly consultations with the prime minister, and meeting visiting foreign officials. "This is a significant step, unprecedented for us"Odeh said Wednesday on army radio. "When the presidents of the world come, they will meet us too. " If the final vote count does not lower his score, and if a vote in Parliament does not deprive him of this position, Odeh would also receive intelligence reports from the intelligence services, a perspective that he 'he judges "Interesting".


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