Arab Parties Agree to Run on Joint Knesset Slate for First Time in Israeli History

Deal expected to boost Arab voter turnout by 10 percent; Hadash chairman picked to head joint list.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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MK Ahmad Tibi and MK Mansour Abbas after an agreement on a joint slate was signed, January 22, 2015.
MK Ahmad Tibi and MK Mansour Abbas after an agreement on a joint slate was signed, January 22, 2015.Credit: Nimrod Glickman
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Arab-Jewish Hadash party and the three Arab parties – Balad, Ta’al and the United Arab List – agreed Thursday for the first time in Israel's history to run on a joint ticket in the upcoming Knesset election.

The slate would be headed by Hadash chairman Aiman Ouda, and would include one Jewish member, Dov Henin of Hadash, and one female member, Haneen Zoabi of Balad, both of them placed in spots high enough to secure them a seat in the next Knesset.

Representatives of all four parties signed an agreement on the subject in Kafr Kara, 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.

The agreement among the Arab parties consists of sharing slots 12, 13, 14 and 15 on a rotating basis. The 12th slot will be initially held by a Ta’al member and the 13th by Hadash. Due to disagreements between the Balad faction and the committee putting together the joint list, Balad’s leadership met in MK Jamal Zahalka’s home and decided to accept the committee’s decision.

The main argument was about the candidates placed in the last places on the list deemed to have a chance of entering the Knesset and especially no. 12. Ta’al, headed by MK Ahmed Tibi, demanded the second slot seen as having a realistic chance of making it into the Knesset. However, the United Arab List insisted on that slot for itself, to ensure a fourth Knesset seat for the party. Hadash also demanded the 13th slot for its candidate, Dr. Abdallah Abu-Aaruf, who was ranked 5th in the primaries.

A recent survey conducted by the Abraham Foundation and Yaffa Institute shows that a joint list would raise the voter turnout among Arabs by about 10 percent, bringing it to around 68 percent.

The parties plan to hold a press conference in Nazareth today to mark the deal.

The joint ticket:

1. Aiman Ouda (Hadash)
2. Masud Ganaim (UAL)
3. Jamal Zahalka (Balad)
4. Ahmad Tibi (Ta'al)
5. Aida Tomeh Saliman (Hadash)
6. Abdel Hakim Haj Yahia (UAL)
7. Haneen Zoabi (Balad)
8. Dov Henin (Hadash)
9. Taleb Abu Arar (UAL)
10. Dr. Yussuf Jabareen (Hadash)
11. Basel Ghattas (Balad)
12. Reserved for Ta'al
13. Dr. Abdullah Abu Maaruf (Hadash)
14. Joumaa Azbarka (Balad)
15. Saeed Al-Horomi (UAL)

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