Government ruling coalition to boycott Arab party over boycott of Peres funeral

Marcy Oster

Aymen Odeh sitting in the Knesset. (Courtesy of Aymen Odeh's office)

Aymen Odeh sitting in the Knesset. (Courtesy of Aymen Odeh’s office)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The government coalition in Israel led by the Likud Party will shun the parliamentary activities of the Joint Arab List over its decision to not send any representatives to the funeral of former President Shimon Peres.

The boycott of the coalition of Arab parties, the fourth largest party delegation in the Knesset, was initiated by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, and supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Joint Arab List head Ayman Odeh explained at the time of the funeral two weeks ago that the issue was “complicated.”

“The memory of Peres in the Arab public is different from the narrative discussed in recent years,” he tweeted.


His party also did not issue a statement following Peres’ death nor send representatives to pay respect at Peres’ coffin lying in state in front of the Knesset the day before the funeral.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and a delegation of Palestinian leaders did attend the funeral.

Liberman called for a boycott of all Joint List appearances and speeches before the Knesset. He called the party’s actions surrounding Peres’ death a “red line.”

“Liberman’s initiatives to harm the political representation of Arab citizens only strengthen us, just like his fear-mongering only makes the Joint List greater,” Odeh said according to the Jerusalem Post. “We will continue acting in all arenas, including the parliamentary one, to promote peace and equality.”

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