Representative Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Arab Front for Change list, declared in a video statement that he would not be running for the Knesset in the upcoming session but stressed that he would stay in the Knesset “until the end of the current session.”
Odeh declared that he “will seek to build the widest unity based on a dignified national line and on the political program that brought us to 15 seats, to our collective and real feeling of strength,” to use his words.
He said, “With the support of the sons and daughters of my people, I was elected as a representative of my people, a member of the Haifa municipality when I was 23 years old.” I first sat in the Knesset eight years ago. The political vision was founded on two pillars: the national and the civil: “that we carry the daily concerns of the people and that we place our political weight in favor of the great issues of our people.
We witnessed flaws, great points, and distinctions, he continued, “including obtaining thirteen seats, then fifteen seats, and a sharp rise in our political standing, including the articulated economic plan 922, the largest economic plan that changed the policy of allocating resources to our local authorities, and a systematic leap in the internationalization of our issues, and national unity. We were well-liked as we entered the Knesset under the shadow of the worst Arab civil conflicts, so we were able to preserve our entire population as well as our social structure.
And he thought about “we got 15 seats and the feeling of strength we had as a group, the moment of pride I felt through the eyes of the sons and daughters of my people, I watched children cheering for the participant and memorizing her badge. I observed elderly people struggle to access the voting booths. The next steps require a return to this moment and its establishment.
“I decided to take a responsible stance towards our people and our national unity, not run for office again, and to strive methodically with all of you to work on building the broadest unity based on a dignified national line,” he concluded.
“I will remain in the Knesset as a representative of my people until the end of this session,” he continued, “and it is obvious that I will remain active in the bodies of the Front, my political home, which has all of my loyalty and commitment.”
He continued, “The central issue that I will do my best for is the serious and systematic contribution towards the larger issue, the mother issue, which is ending the occupation, as there is no peace, security, equality, democracy, or a normal relationship between the two peoples except by ending it.”