With some 90 percent of the votes in Israel’s general elections counted, Israel’s Arab parties seem poised to claim their largest ever representation in the Israeli parliament.
The Joint List coalition of Arab parties looks set to take 15 of the Israeli Knesset’s 120 seats, a two-seat boost for representatives of the 21% Arab minority.
According to Arik Rudnitzky, a researcher with the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Arab voter turnout surged to 64.7%, its highest in 20 years.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 3, 2020
“The Netanyahu regime does not have 61 (seats) for one reason: the ascendance of the Joint List,” the coalition’s leader, Ayman Odeh told supporters in the Arab city of Shefaram, Reuters reported.
Yet despite the stunning outcome, the Joint List is unlikely to directly influence coalition negotiations as no Arab party has ever sat in an Israeli government.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 23, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main opponent, Benny Gantz, denied that a government led by his centrist Blue and White Party would rely on the Joint List.
Growing racism and anti-Arab sentiment in Israel has affected most Jewish-dominated parties but has also allowed Arab parties to seek unity in the face of growing political incitement.
In this TRT interview, Ramzy Baroud, Palestinian journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, discusses the need for a unified political strategy following Washington’s declaration of the ‘Deal of the Century’ https://t.co/8D5jnOEyEl pic.twitter.com/RJd4qLSzLo
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) February 6, 2020
In its political campaigning, the Joint List capitalized on Arab frustration with US President Donald Trump’s ‘Middle East Plan’ also known as the ‘Deal of the Century’.
The Joint List also “picked up support from Arab citizens who voted for non-Arab, left-wing Israeli parties in the country’s last election in September,” Reuters reported, citing IDI researcher Rudnitzky.
(The Palestine Chronicle)