United Arab List

The United Arab List (Hebrew: הַרְשִׁימָה הַעֲרָבִית הַמְאוּחֶדֶת‎, HaReshima HaAravit HaMe'uhedet; Arabic: القائمة العربية الموحدة‎, al-Qā'ima al-'Arabiyya al-Muwaḥḥada), commonly known by its Hebrew acronym Ra'am (Hebrew: רע"מ‎, lit.'Thunder'), is an Arab political party in Israel and the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement.[9] It was part of the Joint List but left the alliance on 28 January 2021.[10]

United Arab List
القائمة العربية الموحدة
Hebrew nameהרשימה הערבית המאוחדת
LeaderMansour Abbas
ChairmanMansour Abbas
Founded1996 (1996)
Political positionBig tent
National affiliationJoint List (2015–2019; 2020–2021)
Seats in Knesset
4 / 120
Most MKs5 (1999)
Election symbol



United Arab List election ballot, 2013

The party was established prior to the 1996 election, unrelated to the original United Arab List that existed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was joined in an electoral alliance by the Arab Democratic Party (which held two seats in the outgoing parliament) and the southern faction of the Islamic Movement. The party initially went under the title of Mada-Ra'am, Mada being the acronym and common name for the Arab Democratic Party. In the election, the party won four seats. During the Knesset term, the Arab Democratic Party became a faction within the United Arab List, and its name was dropped from the party title.

The 1999 election saw the party increase its share of the vote and pick up five seats. However, internal disagreements saw three MKs leave; Muhamad Kanan and Tawfik Khatib left and established the Arab National Party, whilst Hashem Mahameed formed the National Unity – National Progressive Alliance party. In the 2003 election, the party's support dropped by more than a third, with the party only just crossing the electoral threshold of 2%, and winning only two seats.

Logo used by the party before 2019

For the 2006 election, the party entered an alliance with Ahmad Tibi's Ta'al party. Running together, the alliance won four seats, three of which were taken by the United Arab List. The partys' alliance was maintained for the 2009 election, which initially saw the Israeli Central Elections Committee ban the party from participating,[11] but this was overturned by the Supreme Court of Israel.[12] In the election, the alliance again won four seats. Shortly before the 2013 election, Taleb el-Sana left the party to sit as an independent Arab Democratic Party member.

After the electoral threshold to gain Knesset seats was raised from 2% to 3.25%, the party joined with Hadash, Balad, Ta'al, and the Islamic Movement to form the Joint List for the 2015 election.[13] For the April 2019 election, it ran on a list with Balad.[14] The party again ran as part of the Joint List in the 2020 election.[15]

Ideology and support

The party supports the two-state solution, and the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also supports equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel.

Its constituency consists mostly of religious or nationalist Israeli Arabs, and enjoys particular popularity among the Negev Bedouin: in the 2009 election, 80% of residents of Bedouin communities voted for the party.[16] The Islamic Movement also operates in poor Arab towns and villages, as well as in Bedouin settlements, to mobilize voters. The southern faction of the Islamic Movement is now the dominant force in the party, whilst other factions include the Arab National Party.

Election results

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Government
1996[a] Abdulmalik Dehamshe 89,514 2.93
2 / 120
1999 114,810 3.49
4 / 120
  2 Opposition
2003 65,551 2.08
1 / 120
  3 Opposition
2006[b] Ibrahim Sarsur 94,786 3.02
3 / 120
  2 Opposition
2009[b] 113,954 3.38
2 / 120
  1 Opposition
2013 138,450 3.65
4 / 120
  2 Opposition
2015 Masud Ghnaim with Joint List
4 / 120
Apr 2019[c] Mansour Abbas 143,666 3.31
2 / 120
  2 Snap election
Sep 2019 with Joint List
3 / 120
  1 Snap election
2020 with Joint List
4 / 120
  1 Opposition
2021 167,064 3.79
4 / 120
  1. ^ Ra'am–Mada alliance
  2. ^ a b Ra'am–Ta'al alliance
  3. ^ Ra'am–Balad alliance

Knesset membership

Current Knesset members

Former Knesset members

See also


  1. ^ "Israel Elections: Likud remains largest party, no bloc wins - polls". Jerusalem Post. 6 February 2021.
  2. ^ Carol Migdalovitz (18 May 2015). "Israel: Background and Relations with the United States" (PDF). CRS Issue Brief for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Rubin, Barry (2012). Israel: An Introduction. Yale University Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0300162301.
  4. ^ Freedman, Robert O., ed. (2008). Contemporary Israel: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Security Challenges. Westview Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0813343853.
  5. ^ Farah Swellam (12 June 2021). "Ra'am: A party with a complex history, imperative in creating new gov't". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  6. ^ Ahlswede, Stefan (2009). Israel's European Policy After the Cold War. Nomos. p. 47.
  7. ^ "Jewish homophobe says he is not opposed to Arab homophobes backing coalition". timesofisrael.com. The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  8. ^ "הרשימה הערבית המאוחדת". Central Election Committee for the Knesset (in Hebrew). Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  9. ^ The Arab Minority in Israel and the Knesset Elections The Washington Institute
  10. ^ Staff writer; Aaron Boxerman (28 January 2021). "Knesset panel approves Joint List's breakup after talks with Ra'am faction fail". The Times of Israel.
  11. ^ "Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections". Haaretz. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  12. ^ Sharon Roffe-Ofir (21 January 2009). "Hadash praises verdict on Arab parties". Ynetnews. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  13. ^ Hazboun, Areej; Estrin, Daniel (28 January 2015). "As Arab MKs unite, a new political landscape emerges". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  14. ^ "FULL LIST: The Parties and Candidates Running in Israel's Election". Haaretz. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  15. ^ Rasgon, Adam (3 March 2020). "Headed for 15 seats, Joint List chief claims 'huge' success, cites Jewish voters". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  16. ^ "How They Voted: See Israel election results by city/sector". Haaretz. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2015.

External links