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Breaking Down the Arab Parties’ Breakup

The party lists for Knesset elections contained one surprising result: three predominantly Arab parties that had run together in previous elections were no longer united.
Four leaders of the Joint List in 2019 / Zaher333
Four leaders of the Joint List in 2019 / Zaher333
Michael Koplow is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the Chief Policy Officer of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to Israel Policy Forum, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he specialized in political development and ideology, and the politics of Middle Eastern states. He writes Israel Policy Forum’s weekly

“When the party lists for Knesset elections were finalized last Thursday, they contained one surprising result. The three predominantly Arab parties that had run together as the Joint List in three of the previous four elections—Hadash, Ta’al, and Balad—were no longer united, with Hadash and Ta’al choosing to run together and Balad splintering off to run on its own. This echoed the move that Ra’am, the Arab Islamist party headed by Mansour Abbas, made before the fourth election in breaking away from the Joint List and running independently, and means that Israel’s fifth election in three and a half years will have three separate Arab factions running for Knesset. This, more than any other development, has the potential to alter the balance of power between the blocs led by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and may also point to the direction in which Israeli Arab politics is moving.”

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