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.[3] 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.[4] In January 2019 Ta'al split from the alliance, and the remaining coalition was dissolved on 21 February 2019.[5] The list was officially re-established on 28 July for the September 2019 Israeli legislative election[6], in which they were again the third-largest faction (according to unofficial results).[7]

The Joint List
Hebrew nameהרשימה המשותפת
Arabic nameالقائمة المشتركة
LeaderAyman Odeh
Founded23 January 2015 (2015-01-23)
HeadquartersNazareth, Israel[1]
IdeologyIsraeli Arab interests
Two-state solution
Big tent
Arab nationalism[2]
Left-wing nationalism
Political positionBig tent
Left-wing to far-left
Member partiesBalad
United Arab List
13 / 120
Election symbol


Ayman Odeh (right) and Shady Haliya
Activists of the Joint List during the 2015 elections

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.[8]

The agreement between the parties was signed on 22 January,[9] marking the first time the major Arab parties had run as a single list.[10] 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,[9] 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.[11][12]

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.[13]

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.[14] 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,[15] though the Joint List's endorsement of Gantz did account for 10 of the political bloc's 13 MKs.[15]

Politics and ideologyEdit

The list is ideologically diverse, and includes communists, socialists, feminists, Islamists, and Arab nationalists.[16][17][10] 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.[18]

The alliance's 2015 election campaign focused on preventing Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a government and helping the Labor Party–led Zionist Union do so instead.[10][19]

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.[20] 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.[21][22][23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

2015 electionsEdit

The party logo in 2015
The Joint List during the consultation process at President Reuven Rivlin's official residence, after the 2015 elections

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.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29]


Leader Took office Left office
  Ayman Odeh 2019 Incumbent


Name Ideology Position Leader Current MKs
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


Election Votes Seats +/– % Seats
2015 446,583 13 New party 10.61
13 / 120
September 2019 470,211 13   3 [c] 10.60
13 / 120


  1. ^ Balad, Ta'al and United Arab List
  2. ^ Hadash
  3. ^ Joint List did not run together in the April 2019 Israeli legislative election; seat adjustment calculated from parties that were affiliated with it


  1. ^ Isabel Kershner (18 March 2015). "Deep Wounds and Lingering Questions After Israel's Bitter Race". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Raoul Wootliff (1 August 2019). "Top Arab MK says open to 'joining' Gantz". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Arab Parties to Run Together as "The Joint List". The Times of Israel. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  4. ^ Arab sector turnout for recent elections reached 63.5%, polling data shows The Jerusalem Post, 24 March 2015
  5. ^ Hassan Shaalan (21 February 2019). "Hadash and Ta'al Arab Parties join forces ahead of elections". ynet.
  6. ^ Adam Rasgon (29 July 2019). "Nationalist Balad party announces it will run on Joint List in autumn elections". The Times of Israel.
  7. ^ Staff writer (19 September 2019). "Final votes being tallied with Likud, Blue and White still neck-and-neck". The Times of Israel.
  8. ^ Christa Case Bryant (11 March 2015). "Israel elections 101: On eve of vote, momentum on Arab street (+video)". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b Lazar Berman (22 January 2015). "Arab parties finalize unity deal". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Hazboun, Areej; Estrin, Daniel (28 January 2015). "As Arab MKs unite, a new political landscape emerges". Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  11. ^ Elhanan Miller (4 March 2015). "After uniting Arabs behind him, Ayman Odeh looks to lead opposition". Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  12. ^ "With united front, Israeli Arab parties seek more clout". Ynetnews. AFP. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  13. ^ Hassan Shaalan (22 January 2015). "Arab parties to run as one list in upcoming elections". Ynetnews. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  14. ^ Gil Hoffman; Lahav Harkov (22 September 2019). "Joint List endorses Gantz without Balad, giving Netanyahu majority". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b Holmes, Oliver (23 September 2019). "Boost for Netanyahu as three Arab politicians refuse to back rival". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  16. ^ Jodi Rudoren (24 January 2015). "Diverse Israeli Arab Political Factions Join Forces to Keep Place in Parliament". The New York Times. p. A4. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  17. ^ Ruth Eglash (10 March 2015). "Israel's Arab political parties have united for the first time". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  18. ^ Karin Laub (4 March 2015). "Rise of pragmatic Arab politician shakes up Israeli politics". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  19. ^ Jodi Rudoren; Diaa Hadid (19 March 2015). "Arab Alliance in Israeli Legislature Sees Unity as Vehicle for Progress". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  20. ^ Ilan Lior (5 March 2015). "Zionist Union, Meretz may revoke their surplus-vote accord and sign with other parties". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  21. ^ Gideon Allon (13 March 2015). "'Meretz won't be in any coalition with Yisrael Beytenu'". Israel Hayom. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  22. ^ Ariel Ben Solomon (12 March 2015). "Zoabi denies 'Post' report she is willing to recommend Herzog form government". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  23. ^ Jack Khoury (8 March 2015). "The left is not doing Israeli Arabs any favors". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  24. ^ Nahum Barnea (13 March 2015). "Netanyahu, tragic hero of 2015 elections". Ynetnews.
  25. ^ Yarden Skop (9 March 2015). "Meretz slams Arab Joint List over failed votes accord". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  26. ^ Ilan Lior (20 March 2015). "Ire over left-wing parties' surplus vote fiasco was all for nothing". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ "Israeli Arabs say they feel more excluded after election". Associated Press. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  29. ^ Jonathan Beck (29 March 2015). "Arab MKs drop bid for Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2015.

External linksEdit