Israeli Arab Balad Party Picks New Election Slate After High-profile Resignations

Mtanes Shehadeh elected chairman after winning by a margin of just 12 votes ■ Former MK Jamal Zahalka: Arab public will punish those who will cause splitting of Joint List

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Balad Chairman Mtanes Shehadeh in Nazareth, Israel, February 2, 2019.
Balad Chairman Mtanes Shehadeh in Nazareth, Israel, February 2, 2019. Credit: Abdullah Shama
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Mtanes Shehadeh was elected Balad chairman on Saturday, after winning by a margin of just 12 votes over Ashraf Kortam in the second round of primaries.

Activist Heba Yazbak came in the second slot, and former mayor of Sakhnin Mazen Ghanayem in the third. It was a major change for Balad, whose veteran lawmakers Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi announced they will not be running for reelection.

Israel's Arab voters can decide it all. Do they want to? LISTEN to Election Overdose

Subscribe
0:00
-- : --

After winning, Shehadeh said that the party is "freshening up" and that he will lead Balad by "sticking to its principles, maintaining its Palestinian identity and working towards full equality for Arab citizens of Israel." He added that if it would be impossible to keep the current configuration of the Joint List political alliance of Arab-majority parties, "Balad will call for new alliances, stronger and more ideological."

>> Surveillance, political threats, daily discrimination: What it’s like to be a Palestinian citizen in Israel | Opinion

Earlier, outgoing MK Jamal Zahalka criticized MK Ahmad Tibi for splitting his party, Ta'al, from the Joint List. "The Arab public will punish those who will cause the splitting of The Joint List, ignoring the public's desire to continue with party unity."

Haneen Zoabi announced earlier this month that she is resigning after 10 years in office. According to Zoabi, she has been subject to “character assassination, ongoing incitement, unceasing attempts to make me disappear, to silence me, disqualify me and distance me from the political arena.” She added that the time has come to change her place for the sake of a stronger Palestinian generation

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott