Likud MK: Ra’am Welcome to Join Coalition
“Non-Zionist parties cannot be part of the government if the government does not have 61 [seats]. If Mansour Abbas wants to join after we have 61, ahlan v’sahalan [Arabic: hello and welcome],” MK Dudi Amsalem told Channel 12.
His statement contrasted with Likud’s previous stance on Ra’am as members of the right-wing party during the past years blamed the party and its leader Mansour Abbas for being “terrorist supporters.”
The leader of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, publicly denounced Amsalen’s comment, stating that he was “amazed” to hear what he said and did not agree with his view.
“Ra’am is an antisemitic and anti-Zionist party, supports terror and represents the Muslim Brotherhood, which aspires to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement according to The Jerusalem Post.
“The Likud under my leadership never did and never will agree to include Ra’am in any coalition,” he continued, stressing that no “terror supporters” will ever take part in a government led by Likud, and never did in the past.
“This is the essence of the upcoming elections: A strong, nationalist government under my lead or an anti-Zionist government that will include Mansour Abbas and Ra’am, Ahmed Tibi and the Joint List, and will be completely dependent on them,” he stated.
Despite Netanyahu’s stated opposition to Ra’am, he reportedly approached Abbas last year in an effort to create a coalition government.
After the criticism, Amsalen tweeted that he was “against Mansour Abbas and relying on supporters of terrorism.”
“The interview is circulating on the net and things speak for themselves, so do not fall into the trap. Let them not try to make an ugly spin on us,” he wrote on Twitter.