On November 20, 2016, Ayman 'Odeh, chair of the Joint List, an alliance of Arab-dominated parties in the Israeli Knesset, participated in a conference held by the Palestinian Masarat Center for Research and Public Policies. The conference, held simultaneously in Al-Bireh and Gaza under the heading "Reality and Horizons in the Struggle of the 1948 Palestinians [i.e., Israeli Arabs]," was attended by dozens of politicians, academics and social activists. 'Odeh, who attended the conference in Al-Bireh, addressed the political path of the Israeli Arabs and said that, when a conflict arises between their Palestinian and Arab identity and Israeli citizenship, their Palestinian and Arab identity takes precedence, and that is why they avoid taking jobs at various government ministries.(h/t Josh K)
He added that Israeli Arabs have a duty to support the Palestinian struggle and have a national interest in seeing an end to the occupation, the establishment of a Palestinian state and the return of the refugees.
'Odeh called "to form a joint cultural framework [for Israeli and non-Israeli Palestinians] to strengthen national identity, with the PLO's consent." Noting that the PLO cannot represent the Palestinians inside Israel, and that the latter cannot be members of the PLO or its National Council, he added that "there is need for functional separation that will take into consideration the unique [position] of the Palestinians inside [Israel]," and that "the implementation of this idea requires discussion and study."
'Odeh made similar remarks at the opening ceremony of Fatah's Seventh General Conference on November 30, 2016 in Ramallah. He addressed Fatah as "Fatah of the great sacrifices" and "Fatah of the martyrs and prisoners," and, speaking on behalf of his party, called on the Palestinian factions to put aside their differences in order to concentrate on the main struggle, against the occupation. He explained that the Israeli Arabs have a role in helping the occupied Palestinians and in swaying public opinion in Israel, and ended his speech with a quote from Arafat and with a call for the next Fatah conference to be held in Jerusalem: "As the great [Arafat] said, 'people think that [the Palestinian state] is far, but we see that it is near.' Fatah's next conference will be held in East Jerusalem, capital of the Palestinian state, and we shall be there with you." 'Odeh's speech was received with applause and cries of the slogan, coined by Arafat, "thousands of martyrs are marching on Jerusalem."