It 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)