Spelling Trouble for Israel’s Arab Parties, Announcement of Joint Run Canceled

A press conference scheduled for Monday evening to announce the joint run of Israel’s four Arab-majority parties in Knesset in the September 17 election, was called off at the last moment because two of the four parties said they would boycott it.

The press conference was called by the Hadash and United Arab List parties with the blessing of a “reconciliation committee” set up to help the four parties resolve their differences. Its goal was to pressure the other two parties, Balad and Ta’al, to soften their positions in negotiations regarding the joint slate’s composition.

But after Balad and Ta’al said they wouldn’t show up for the event, the reconciliation committee announced that it would be postponed until Thursday, in the hopes that the dispute would be resolved by then.

All four parties ran on a joint ticket known as the Joint List in 2015, but it broke apart into two slates prior to the April 9 election. After those two slates fared significantly worse than the Joint List did in 2015, they agreed to reconstitute the joint ticket prior to September’s election. But negotiations on doing so have bogged down over disagreements about which slots on the ticket should go to which parties. The main dispute is over the 11th through 14th slots.

Hadash, UAL and the reconciliation committee decided to call the press conference during a meeting on Sunday. Over the weekend, the two parties issued a joint press statement voicing their commitment to reestablishing the Joint List and urging Balad and Ta’al to accept the allocation of places on the ticket proposed by the committee. But Balad and Ta’al object vehemently to this proposal.

Hadash and UAL had hoped the press conference would at least bring Ta’al onboard. That would leave Balad isolated, increasing the pressure on it to capitulate. The reconciliation committee’s spokesman, Mustafa Kabha, said the conference would be used to present the results of the negotiations to date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *