Early Wednesday, the three parties that are part of the Joint List decided to unite once more for running in the upcoming elections.
This was just ahead of an approaching deadline for parties in finalizing their slates for the Knesset.
The parties had been holding meetings for three days, as there are internal divisions and poor polling numbers associated with the predominantly Arab party, thereby leading to the said decision.
They agreed that the alliance would be led by Hadash’s Ayman Odeh with Ta’al’s Ahmad Tibi taking the second spot.
The third spot will go to Balad’s Sami Abou Shahadeh and the fourth spot will be claimed by Hadash’s Aida Touma-Sliman.
As for the fifth spot, Hadash’s Offer Cassif and Balad’s Mtanes Shehadeh would rotate. The Joint List party has five seats in the polling currently.
They announced that their goal was to work together for boosting the voter participation in the Jewish democratic forces and Arab society and for ensuring that the fascist right does not come to power.
This agreement comes after polls predicted that the November 1st election would see Arab Israelis have the lowest-ever turnout, which could see a decline in the Knesset’s Arab representation.
The most recent elections conducted in Israel in 2021 had seen the lowest turnout in Arab votes, as it had been around 44.6%.
Arab participation had reached its peak at 64.8% a year before that, when all four parties, both Arab and Arab-majority had run as the Joint List on a combined slate.
This was when the Joint List had managed to score 15 seats in the Knesset out of the total 120. However, Arab representation had dropped in last year’s election to 10 seats.
This was because the Islamist Ra’am party, which had chosen to run independently. Four seats had been taken up by the Ra’am party, while Joint List landed six.
Current polls have predicted that the seats will drop to nine in this year’s elections, with four going to the Ra’am party and the Joint List landing five.
A number of smaller parties have chosen to unite over worries that if they do not cross the electoral threshold, it would mean lost seats and votes for their bloc.
As for the Joint List party, it has mostly been in the opposition, as it has refused to support any of the blocs.
This week also saw the leader of the Likud party and the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, make up a deal for shoring up his own bloc.
Netanyahu mended a rift in the Ashkenazi Haredi alliance by promising to provide funding to Haredi schools without asking them to accept the demand of the Education Ministry to have a core curriculum.
The details revealed that Netanyahu had agreed that if he becomes the premier, he would increase the annual budget set for ultra-Orthodox schools to NIS 3 billion shekels from NIS 1.2 billion shekels.
The current coalition has condemned the agreement, including current Prime Minister Yair Lapid.