The Joint List (Arabic: القائمة المشتركة, al-Qa'imah al-Mushtarakah, Hebrew: הָרְשִׁימָה הַמְּשֻׁתֶּפֶת, HaReshima HaMeshutefet) is a political alliance of the main Arab-majority political parties in Israel: Balad, Hadash, Ta'al and the United Arab List. The alliance was the third-largest faction in the Knesset after the 2015 elections, and was estimated to have received 82% of the Arab vote. In January 2019 Ta'al split from the alliance, and the remaining coalition was dissolved on 21 February 2019. The list was officially re-established on 28 July for the September 2019 Israeli legislative election, in which they were again the third-largest faction (according to unofficial results).
|Hebrew name||הרשימה המשותפת|
|Arabic name||القائمة المشتركة|
|Founded||23 January 2015|
|Ideology||Israeli Arab interests|
|Political position||Big tent|
Left-wing to far-left
United Arab List
13 / 120
The Joint List was formed in the build-up to the 2015 elections as an alliance of Balad, Hadash, Ta'al, and the United Arab List (the southern branch of the Islamic Movement). The northern branch of the Islamic Movement denounced the entire electoral project.
The agreement between the parties was signed on 22 January, marking the first time the major Arab parties had run as a single list. Balad, Hadash, and the United Arab List had run separately for elections since the 1990s (Balad and Hadash ran together in 1996), whilst Ta'al had run in alliance with all three during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the raising of the electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25% led to the parties creating an alliance to increase their chances of crossing the threshold, as both Hadash and Balad received less than 3% of the vote in the 2013 elections. Initially, the parties mulled running as two blocs (Hadash with Ta'al, and Balad with the Islamic Movement), but party representatives said pressure from the Arab public pushed them to join forces.
The alliance's list for the 2015 elections was headed by Ayman Odeh, the newly-elected leader of Hadash, followed by Masud Ghnaim (United Arab List), Jamal Zahalka (Balad), and Ahmad Tibi (Ta'al), with the following places alternating between Hadash, the Islamic Movement, and Balad. The twelfth to fourteenth places were subject to rotation agreements between the parties.
On 22 September 2019, following the September 2019 election, Odeh and the Joint List agreed to endorse Benny Gantz for prime minister, marking the first time that an Arab party endorsed an Israeli for prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin in 1992. However, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin announced on September 23 that the Joint List's three Balad MKs had abstained from endorsing a candidate, thus putting Gantz behind incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in total MK recommendations, though the Joint List's endorsement of Gantz did account for 10 of the political bloc's 13 MKs.
Politics and ideologyEdit
The list is ideologically diverse, and includes communists, socialists, feminists, Islamists, and Arab nationalists. After having united parties with various political agendas, Odeh met with Jewish Hadash activists, including former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, in an attempt to allay concerns that the new alliance would dilute the party's principles, such as gender equality.
The list is not united in terms of support for Jewish–Arab co-operation, supported mainly by Hadash. In March 2015 (after the Zionist Union had signed a vote-sharing agreement with Meretz, and Kulanu with Israel Beytenu), officials from the Zionist Union, Meretz, and Yesh Atid explored the idea that the Zionist Union and Meretz revoke their agreement so that the Zionist Union could share surplus votes with Yesh Atid, and Meretz with the Joint List, to potentially strengthen the dovish bloc in the Knesset. However, the offer caused intra-list tension; Hadash (including Dov Khenin and Joint List chief Odeh) and the United Arab List supported the partnership with Meretz, but the Islamic Movement and especially Balad opposed it. According to Nahum Barnea, most of the list, including Jamal Zahalka of Balad, supported the agreement, but Qatar, which reportedly funds Balad's coffers, sided with the extremist elements within Balad and had the party come out against it. After the Joint List announced it would not share votes with any party, Meretz officials declared that the List had chosen nationalism and separatism over Jewish–Arab solidarity. A post-election analysis showed that the proposed agreements between these left-of-center parties would not have made a difference to the final result.
The Joint List won 13 seats in the 2015 Knesset elections with 10.6% of the total vote, becoming the third-largest party in the 20th Knesset. Odeh stated that he intended for the alliance to work on shared issues with center-left Jewish opposition parties and seek membership of key parliamentary committees.
One of the party's first actions after the elections was to trade the two seats that, as the third-largest faction, it was entitled to on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for two more seats on the Finance Committee, primarily to better address its constituents' financial and housing concerns.
|Leader||Took office||Left office|
|Hadash||Communism, Socialism, Eco-socialism||Left-wing to Far-left||Ayman Odeh|
5 / 120
|Ta'al||Arab nationalism, Secularism||Big tent||Ahmad Tibi|
2 / 120
|United Arab List||Islamism (factions)||Big tent||Mansour Abbas|
3 / 120
|Balad||Pan-Arabism, Left-wing nationalism||Left-wing||Mtanes Shehadeh|
3 / 120
13 / 120
|September 2019||470,211||13||3 [c]||10.60|
13 / 120
- Balad, Ta'al and United Arab List
- Joint List did not run together in the April 2019 Israeli legislative election; seat adjustment calculated from parties that were affiliated with it
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- "תוצאות האמת של הבחירות לכנסת ה-20" [Actual results of the 20th Knesset elections] (in Hebrew). Central Election Commission. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- "Israeli Arabs say they feel more excluded after election". Associated Press. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Jonathan Beck (29 March 2015). "Arab MKs drop bid for Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
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