Israel Election Updates Israel's Arab Parties Agree on Joint Knesset Slate

53 days to go: Kulanu candidates go to Mahane Yehuda to get a taste of the market.

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Israeli Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al ), Hanna Swaid (Hadash) and Jamal Zahalka (Balad), July 20, 2011.
Israeli Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al ), Hanna Swaid (Hadash) and Jamal Zahalka (Balad), July 20, 2011.Credit: Emil Salman

Latest political summary:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority for Wednesday's stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus, saying that "the same terror tries to hurt us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere." (Barak Ravid) Read full article

Hadash and the Arab parties are expected to unveil a joint Knesset ticket by Thursday, taking advantage of the increase in the electoral threshold to 3.25 percent from 2 percent, party officials say. (Jack Khoury)

Latest updates:

10:16 P.M. Israel's Arab parties agree on joint Knesset slate

The Arab-Jewish Hadash party and the three Arab parties – Balad, Ta’al and the United Arab List – agreed to run on a joint ticket in the upcoming Knesset elections.

Representatives of all four parties signed an agreement on the subject in Kafr Kara last night, where celebrations commenced soon afterward. The agreement was drafted by a committee set up about six weeks ago to promote a cooperation deal among the parties. (Jack Khoury)

8:40 P.M. Joint Arab parties Knesset slate to share numerous slots

The emerging agreement between the Arab parties will include a compromise to share slots 12, 13, 14 and 15 on a rotating basis. The twelfth slot will be initially held by Ta'al, and the thirteenth by Hadash. (Jack Khoury)

7:25 P.M. White House: Obama won't meet Netanyahu during U.S. visit due to proximity to Israeli election

The White House announced on Thursday that President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the latter visits the U.S. in March to speak before Congress.

The White House cited the proximity of the Israeli election to Netanyahu's visit, and the desire to refrain from interfering in the election. (Barak Ravid) Read full article

5:20 P.M. Netanyahu's address to Congress moved even closer to election

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will now address Congress on March 3, just two weeks before the upcoming Israeli election.

Boehner confirmed on his Twitter account that Netanyahu wanted to coordinate his speech with the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C. The Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Netanyahu had asked the Speaker to postpone his speech until the later date. (Barak Ravid). Read full article

6:30 P.M. Arab Knesset slate to be announced on Thursday evening

The joint committee working on Arab Knesset list for the upcoming election is set to announce the list on Thursday at 8:00 P.M. Disagreements between the Balad faction and the committee itself were resolved at the home of Balad MK Jamal Zahalka.

6:00 A.M. Kahlon goes to Jerusalem market

A sign with pictures of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon greeted shoppers at the Agrippas Street entrance to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market.

Kahlon, Kulanu candidates, and a horde of advisers and staff members crowded at the entrance to the market as the party jingle played over and over. The market was ready for the arrival of the man who was once a Likud darling and now heads a rival party.

Like the other candidates, Kulanu’s No. 2, former major general Yoav Galant, shook hands, embraced and kissed shoppers and vendors. “I’m married to a Moroccan-born woman with 10 siblings. Hugs and kisses aren’t new to me,” said Galant, who smiled all through the tour and turned into the party’s unofficial selfie photographer.

Former ambassador to the United States Michael Oren also insisted he felt right at home. “I’ve been walking around this market for 30 years, I know every stall here,” he said. (Ilan Lior)

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