Israeli Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh has announced that he is retiring from politics after eight years in the Israeli parliament.
Odeh, who heads the Hadash-Ta’al political faction, made the announcement Tuesday in posts on Facebook (Arabic language) and Twitter (Hebrew language).
חלק תפקידו של משרת ציבור הוא לדעת מתי לקחת צעד אחורה כדי להסתכל על התמונה הגדולה. לכן קיבלתי היום את אחת ההחלטות הקשות בחיי: בסיום הקדנציה הזאת לא אתמודד בבחירות הבאות לכנסת. pic.twitter.com/OQHvI8mcdQ
— איימן עודה أيمن عودة Ayman Odeh (@AyOdeh) May 16, 2023
“Part of the job of a public servant is knowing when to take a step back to look at the big picture,” he wrote. “That’s why today I made one of the hardest decisions of my life: at the end of this term, I will not run in the next Knesset elections.
“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” he wrote on Facebook. “I will seek with you to build the largest unit based on the political program that brought us to 15 seats (in 2020), to our collective and true sense of power.
“Thank you all for every moment of the last 8 years.”
Odeh founded the Arab Joint List, a faction comprised of the Hadash, Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad parties that united to maximize their impact in Israeli elections.
Sources close to the MK told the Ma’ariv newspaper that Odeh “understands there is currently no possibility of uniting the Arab parties … so he is making room for [new people].”
Oded said in his video announcement that he will continue to work for his community and will continue to actively fight to end the Israeli “occupation.”