No Unity Among the Arab Parties in Knesset


tibiIt is not just the Jewish coalition and opposition parties that seem to lack shalom bayis as the Arab parties have not yet reached agreement to run under a combined list. Should this be the case, some of the Arab parties would likely be eliminated as the minimum threshold to enter Knesset has risen from two to four seats.

The Ra’am-Ta’al party has been negotiating with Hadash towards running together as has the Balad party. Jamal Zahalka of Balad, Dr. Ahmed Tibi of Ra’am-Ta’al and Mohammed Barakeh of Hadash are trying to reach agreement so the Arab representation in Knesset is not diminished. The outgoing administration increased the minimum threshold to enter Knesset from 2% (two seats) to the current 3.25% (four seats) in the hope of eliminating some of the smaller parties.

At present Ra’am-Ta’al holds 4 seats, Balad 3 and Hadash 4, if they run independently that all stand the chance of not getting into Knesset.

The three have still not decided to run together, yet alone deciding who would head the ticket and who gets the second and third slots. Speaking to the media over the weekend, Tibi stated that he believes if they combine under one list in elections the Arab parties will increase their representation in Knesset.

Speaking with the Knesset Channel on Sunday 29 Kislev, Tibi explained that there will be women on the combined list as well as Jews other than Hadash MK Dov Hanin. He is optimistic that a combined list will be a reality and that they will increase their Knesset representation.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Hadaash, which is the Israeli Communist party, is not really an Arab party as it includes Jews.

    The two “Arab” parties on a socialist (similar to the old Nasserites in Egypt, or the Baath in Iraq and Syria), and an Islamic party. There is quite an ideological gap there.

    And while many Arabs boycott the elections because they oppose the existence of the state, many more Arabs vote for non-Arab parties (since they would rather live in a zionist state than what would probably be a radical Islamic one).

  2. What a joke the Knesset is, when known enemies not even fifth columns like Tibi, Zoabi and Bishara are allowed to spew their Jew hatred, is this what the Zionists had in mind when they said a country like all others? is this what the Chayalim are dying for? Why doesnt Bibi and Lapid make a draft of the Arabs into the army?