Ra’am chairman says his party’s achievements in the coalition negotiations “are the starting point and not the end point.”
MK Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra’am party, explained in a statement issued on Monday his reasons for joining the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid coalition and his party’s short- and long-term goals.
According to the website of the Kul al-Arab newspaper, Abbas noted that his party’s top goal was to enter the political arena as a major player and to that end it is important to break out of the subordination to the left and the opposition and become an independent force operating solely in the interests of the Arab sector.
Following that, Abbas wrote, he adopted a pattern of action that moved away from populism that did not help the political representatives of the Arab sector, but rather provided a justification for the authorities to take a discriminatory approach.
“We must know very well that today is to some extent only the end of the first phase, and the beginning of a new phase with new goals,” Abbas wrote.
The goals of this new phase, according to Abbas, will be first and foremost to preserve the ability to influence in the political arena and internalize that achieving all the demands of the Arab sector will require a long time.
“I have therefore stated several times in the past that the coalition agreement, although it includes key and burning issues for our society and unprecedented achievements and budgets, is the starting point and not the end point, and therefore we must continue to work to achieve all our society’s demands and address the historical injustice that has been our lot for years due to discrimination, based on a clear vision and long-term strategy,” Abbas explained.
On Sunday, Abbas said that in the first meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to be held this week, he intends to raise the issue of home demolitions in the Negev in order to change the policy from demolition to planning and construction.
In an interview with the Panet.co.il website and the Hala TV channel, Abbas said, “This government was formed based on our will, and we will influence it at every moment. Today we have proven that the Arab community is a strong player in the political arena in Israel.”
He clarified, “This government is dependent on us and on our decision, and if there is a decision that contradicts our national principles and our religion we will not be there.”
Asked if he intended to overthrow the government, Abbas said, “We will act responsibly and not childishly.”