Netanyahu calls for direct elections, says Ra’am support unfeasible

Netanyahu calls for direct elections, says Ra’am party support unfeasible
2 min read
21 April, 2021
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, 'We don't need Ra'am' to the media.
Netanyahu is struggling to form a government after Israel's latest elections [Getty]

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called for direct elections to determine the nation’s next premier, saying support from the Palestinian-Islamist party Ra’am is now unfeasible, The Times of Israel has reported.

This comes after Ra’am, or the United Arab List, went against Netanyahu’s bloc in a crucial vote.

Netanyahu said the only means of avoiding another election or his deposition were if the centre-right New Hope broke its commitment not to work with him, or if a one-time direct vote took place.

Israel's most recent election was its fourth in a two-year period.

The measure is seemingly dead in the water, as Ra’am figures have reportedly expressed their likely opposition.

“We don’t need Ra’am,” Netanyahu told the media.

Read more: Mansour Abbas: The Islamist politician reshaping Israel's political landscape

The United Arab List backed Israel's opposition in a vote over allocations to a vital committee on Monday, handing them control of the body.

Israel's nation state law
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The List’s leader, Mansour Abbas, has previously been described as a “kingmaker,” after he suggested he could work with right-wing leaders such as Netanyahu if this allowed him to advance his policy priorities.

He even gave a televised speech in Hebrew earlier this month, appealing to Israeli Jews and expressing his support for intercommunal coexistence.

Ra’am was formerly part of the Joint List, alongside other Arab-majority parties such as the leftist Hadash grouping.

Ra’am and the rest of the Joint List drifted apart over many issues, including Netanyahu and LGBTQ+ rights.

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