Wed 31 May 2023 11:01 am - Jerusalem Time
Ayman Odeh and the Arab political system in the country.. to where?
Representative Ayman Odeh, head of the Front for Peace and Equality list, announced, in a videoed personal statement broadcast on Tuesday evening, the sixteenth of May 2023, that he had made a personal decision not to run for the next session of the Israeli Knesset within the framework of the list of the Democratic Front, stressing the continuation of his current membership until the next session in Year 2026.
Odeh added in his statement that he would seek to build the broadest unity based on a generous national line and on the political program that brought us to 15 seats in the Knesset, noting that he would devote the next stage to "bringing peace between the two peoples," as he put it.
Odeh admitted that he had taken the most difficult decisions in his political life, adding that he would not run for the next Knesset elections within the framework of the Front.
Odeh did not reveal the reason for this step, but he said: “The central issue that I will do my best for is the serious and systematic contribution towards the larger cause, the mother issue, which is ending the occupation.”
And in March 2020, Odeh headed a coalition consisting of 4 Arab parties (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, the National Democratic Assembly, the Arab Movement for Change and the United Arab List), under the name of the “Joint List”, which at that time won 15 seats, becoming the third power in the Knesset.
On the eve of the elections that took place in March 2021, the “Unified List”, headed by Mansour Abbas, split from the “Joint List”, and ran the elections separately, winning 4 seats, while the “joint list”, with its three other parties, won 6 seats.
In the last elections, which took place in November 2022, the “Joint List” officially disintegrated, after the “National Democratic Assembly” party ran in the elections without the other two parties, and did not exceed the decisive threshold, which is 3.25 percent of the valid vote, while a coalition took place. The remaining two parties, the Front and Change, have 5 seats.
The upcoming resignation decision of Ayman Odeh caused a slight earthquake on the Arab political system in the country, as we did not hear serious statements and comments by senior politicians in the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, and Odeh did not take advantage of the annual general conference held in late February in Shfaram. To announce this resignation, and this announcement stemmed more from what was going on in his imagination about his continuation in political work in the future without giving enough importance to the Front, and a strong struggle took place in the Front’s conference between the rising youth forces and the deputies who spent and continue to spend long periods in the same positions and there were no preparations It was not serious about the upcoming local and municipal elections, nor was it a kind of drawing lessons from the abject failure in the previous elections, as the Front, led by Ayman Odeh, achieved three seats, equal to the fifth seat with Ahmed Tibi.
Also, there was no serious controversy with everything related to not running in the last elections with the assembly, which led to the loss of the assembly, which led to its loss and failure to cross the threshold, in addition to the rise of the head of the Unified List, Mansour Abbas, and there was no direct accusation within the front in its agencies and in Her informing Ayman Od of the real reason why the Joint List did not win 15 seats in the last elections, but five.
We do not know exactly what the real goals are for the lack of a serious and real discussion about the failure of Representative Ayman Odeh to achieve any serious progress or achievements in his leadership of the Front for Peace and Equality in particular and the Arab masses in general.
Where he preferred to continue his unity with the Arab List for Change led by Ahmed al-Tibi and relinquished his alliance with the assembly and was not aware of the real intentions of Mansour Abbas’s strategy to withdraw from the Joint List and his acceptance of participation in any future government that led him to Lapid’s government. Especially adherence to the assembly as a strategic ally that eventually led to its disintegration and the rise of the Netanyahu Ben Gvir government.
Contrary to what he declared in his resignation letter that his greatest achievement was establishing and maintaining the Joint List.
Contrary to what he announced that the Joint List was one of the greatest achievements of the Palestinian Arabs in this country under the leadership of Representative Odeh, however, it was the achievements of ink on paper as it did not achieve any progress in the nature of Arab political action and did not elect new people, who could have represented the Arab community in the country Although he traveled many times to the United States, met with some congressmen in the Capitol building, and wrote a number of articles in the New York Times, all of this did not bring about a radical and real change in the position of the Arabs in the international community, as the blind support for this Jewish segment remained in New York. And Washington is an unending supporter of Israel, and he had to turn only to some liberals who believe in the inevitability of the inevitable link between Israel and the United States.
And once again, with everything related to his announcement of resignation in the upcoming elections, it would have been more appropriate for him to announce that immediately after the results of the elections were announced and to take upon himself the responsibility for the loss and the decrease in the support of the Front to become the second force in Palestinian society!!
There is a great importance in this regard, which is evident in his strategy, which is summed up in the fact that he did not dare to run in the elections without allying with the Arab Movement for Change due to his real fears that the front would not cross the threshold.
As for today, there is a real danger to the Arab lists in the upcoming elections in the event that they do not formulate a clear-cut strategy, in which the parties elect young, active and influential personalities who can work with foundations and logic completely different from what Arab politics have worked on for the last twenty years, and these concepts are also related to the list of the Front for Peace. And equality, which has a huge and wide struggle in Arab society, in addition to new forces that can appear on the surface, but without the policy of the united list being the tyrant and desperate to participate in any current or future government.
Although Ayman Odeh continues not to reveal his papers as to where he will go in the future, I suggest that he write down that short political experience and write his memoirs, so that we researchers can examine what happened in those previous years of Arab political action.
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