On February 9 – 2016, MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, the Arab party which is the third largest in the Knesset, spoke to the foreign media at JPC. Mr. Odeh said that Prime Minister Netanyahu sees in the Arab minority in Israel a threat to his government, because, being 20% of the population, the Israeli Arabs might threaten his precarious majority. When challenged as per how come the same Prime Minister has just announced the allocation of 15B NIS to the Arab sector, he replied that this has come with conditions which are difficult to meet. Asked about the meeting of three of his colleagues with families of terrorists who had killed innocent Israelis, Mr. Odeh said that this was a meeting for humanitarian reasons (returning the bodies), and while he thinks occupation is the root of all evil, and while condemning any violence against innocent people, there are ways to do things without creating an opportunity to use them for political purposes.
About the speaker:
MK Ayman Odeh is the head of the Joint List, the third-largest party in the current Knesset. Born in 1975, Odeh studied law at Mihai Eminescu University and successfully passed the Israeli Bar Association’s qualifying exams in 2001. Between the years 1998-2003 Odeh represented the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) in the Haifa City Council, and between 2003-2006 worked as a project director for Sikkuy – the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality. A former board member of the Al-Midan Theater, Odeh has been serving as the Secretary-General of Hadash since 2006, and is currently a member of the Knesset House Committee, the Knesset Committee on Labor, Welfare and Health, the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation’s board of directors, as well as the chairman of the Cultural Affairs parliamentary group. The author of three monographs, Odeh partook in the formulation of, and is a signatory to the High Follow-Up Committee’s Vision Documents, Mada Al Carmel’s Haifa Declaration and Adalah’s Democratic Constitution document.
MK Ayman Odeh was listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.
Odeh is married to Nardine Aslih, a physician, and has three children.