Israel Election Updates / Lieberman Seeks to Ban Arab Parties From Running in Elections

Controversial JPost columnist offered spot on Likud list; Herzog picks Trajtenberg as potential finance minister; Livni, Lapid slam Netanyahu for 'ruining' ties with U.S.

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Arab-Israeli parliament members and other candidates join hands after a joint political slate was announced, Nazareth,  January 23, 2015.
Arab-Israeli parliament members and other candidates join hands after a joint political slate was announced, Nazareth, January 23, 2015.Credit: Reuters

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

For Yossi Verter's political analysis, click here.

Latest updates:

11:22 P.M. Arab district representatives to Herzog: 'Zionist Camp' name used at expense of Arab community

Arab district representatives from the Labor Party met with Isaac Herzog on Friday to protest against the party's adopted name of the "Zionist Camp," saying that the name offends Israeli Arabs unable to identify with the label.

Arab district secretary MK Ghaleb Mejadla, who is unlikely to be re-elected for the next Knesset, said before the meeting that "if it turns out that the Labor Party disengages from its historic alliance with Israeli Arab voters, everything is open from our perspective."

"I do not know what magic wand makes hundreds of thousands of Arabs into Zionists overnight" (Jonathan Lis) 

9:50 P.M. Lieberman seeks to ban Arab parties from running in elections

Yisrael Beiteinu said it would seek to ban the unified Arab list from running in the coming elections.

“The unification proves to everyone that apparently there is no difference between Khenin and Haneen, and that Dov Khenin is exactly like [Balad MK] Haneen Zoabi, who wants only to support terror organizations and cooperate with Israel’s enemies,” the party said in a statement.

The statement added that such a list “was not worthy of serving in the Knesset of Israel.”

The united Arab list said in response that the "so-called appeal" to ban the list from the elections is "another populist step by corrupt, racist Lieberman." (Jack Khoury, Jonathan Lis) 

8:27 P.M. Controversial Jerusalem Post columnist offered spot on Likud slate

Controversial Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick has been offered the 11th spot on the Likud slate by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 2 said.

Glick has previously called Netanyahu "immoral, irresponsible, and stupid," in an article criticizing the Gilad Shalit deal. (Jonathan Lis) 

7:25 P.M. Likud reveals campaign slogan: 'It's us or them'

Likud revealed its election campaign slogan: "It's us or them. Only Likud. Only Netanyahu."

In comparison, Zionist Camp's slogan is "It's him or us." (Jonathan Lis)

6:30 P.M. Herzog gives Trajtenberg 11th spot on election slate

Zionist Camp leader MK Isaac Herzog announced that Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg will be given the 11th spot on the Zionist Camp's Knesset slate.

Herzog said Trajtenberg is Zionist Camp's candidate for finance minister. (Jonathan Lis)

3:20 P.M. Livni, Lapid slam Netanyahu for 'ruining' ties with U.S.

Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of harming Israel's ties with the U.S. and its security to promote his political agenda.

"IDF soldiers are being dragged to The Hague for war crimes that they didn't commit. The only barrier preventing this is the U.S., which is helping Israel block this attack. This is why our ties with the U.S. are vital for Israel's security," she said.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also criticized the PM, saying that Netanyahu is ruining Israel's strategic ties with the U.S. "for one election speech."

"The voice of Israel on the Iranian issue must be heard loud and clear, but in this case the opposite is the reality. If Netanyahu was concerned by the Iranian issue like he says, he would have acted differently and would have coordinated with the White House. This damage would take long to mend," Lapid said. (Jonathan Lis, Yarden Skop)

3:15 P.M. Akunis defends PM's visit to United States

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) defended Prime Minister Netanyahu's impending visit to the United States to address Congress, which raised the ire of the Obama administration, with which the visit wasn't coordinated. 

"Netanyahu will represent all Israeli citizens, coalition and opposition, on a matter which should raise no controversy in Israel – the Iranian nuclear program and the spread of radical Islam," Akunis said. "Sadly, cynicism and the shallow level of discourse in the current election season is causing the opposition to automatically object to any national mission." (Jonathan Lis)