Israel’s four main Arab political parties, after split, will again run as a bloc


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s four main Arab political parties will again run on a joint list, hoping to regain the strength they had before last April’s elections.

Balad, the Arab nationalist party, on Sunday night announced that it would join Hadash, Raam and Taal, who had agreed to run together earlier in the day.

The Arab Joint List sat together in the 20th Knesset, after garnering 13 seats in the 2015 election. But the coalition broke up ahead of the April 2019 elections, with the Hadash-Taal list receiving six seats and the Raam-Balad List barely crossing the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent of the total vote to garner four seats, for a total of 10 seats representing Arab-Israelis.

The parties have very different philosophies. Raam is the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement; Hadash represents socialists and was formed by the Israeli Communist Party and other leftist groups; Taal is a secular nationalist party.

Hadash Chairman Ayman Odeh, who also led the last alliance of the four parties, will lead the joint list.

The parties hope that the alliance will increase Arab voter turnout in the September 17 election.

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