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Arab Parties

  • The cynical use of homophobia to attack the Joint List

    The Pride Parade has become a litmus test of enlightenment for politicians. But clinging to that symbol is dangerous in that it disconnects the parade from its actual context — the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equal rights. By Inna Michaeli In a video question-and-answer segment produced by Haaretz this week, Arab actress and singer Mira Awad interviewed Balad party chairman Jamal Zahalka, and in her second question, asked him about the Gay Pride parade. It was no surprise that the program’s editors couldn’t help but lead the program with the pride question. A few moments later Awad asked about polygamy.…

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  • Only Israel's public TV gives equal coverage to Arab Joint List

    Despite polling better in than mid-sized Jewish parties, the Israeli media is simply paying less attention to the Arab Joint List. By Oren Persico Israel’s public television, Channel 1, is devoting more time to reporting on the Joint Arab List running for Israel’s Knesset than the country’s other commercial television news channels, a survey of medium-sized political parties' public relations events in recent weeks showed. On January 15 former minister and Kulanu party head Moshe Kahlon announced the makeup of his list of candidates. Israel’s Channel 2 budgeted a minute and a half to its report, including a live report…

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  • A glimmer of hope against incitement and racism

    Jamal Zahalka promises that the Joint List will remain together for a long time, Dov Khenin tugs at our heart strings, the head of the Islamic Movement speaks of the men and women who make history, and Ayman Odeh, who heads the slate, calls on Arabs members of the Zionist parties to come back home. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) Holding the Joint List’s Arabic-language campaign launch after sundown on a Saturday evening made it seem as if the Arabs were observing the Jewish Shabbat. The location was Nazareth, which once again earned the title of being the Arab community’s…

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  • It's time to disqualify Israel's Central Elections Committee

    In the run-up to every general election since 2003, Arab parties and candidates have been forced to appear in front of this committee to prove that they deserve to participate in Knesset elections. The only thing worse than the process itself is the racist atmosphere in the meetings. By Salah Mohsen The Central Elections Committee (CEC), which votes on disqualification motions submitted against political parties and candidates, and has the power to ban them from running in the Knesset elections, has in recent years become a farcical and undignified charade. In the run-up to every general election since 2003, Arab…

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  • 'Israel Hayom,' where democracy is for Jews alone

    The pro-Netanyahu newspaper launched a new online questionnaire to help readers decide which party represents them. Jewish readers, that is. By Oren Persico / 'The 7th Eye' Israel Hayom, the most widely-distributed newspaper in the country, continues to exclude Arab citizens from its coverage of the upcoming elections. A new web-based initiative that gives the reader the opportunity to learn which political party supports his or her worldview is geared toward Jews only, like many of the polls conducted by the newspaper. Until recently, Israel Hayom's elections coverage section included a header with photos of all the party heads who are…

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  • The road to a fourth Netanyahu gov’t runs through Haneen Zoabi

    The 'Zionist Camp' needs the Arab parties in order to form a government. Its decision to vote for disqualifying Zoabi makes that support less and less likely. The Central Elections Commission on Thursday disqualified MK Haneen Zoabi and candidate Baruch Marzel from running in Israel’s upcoming elections. The decision is not final without the approval of the Supreme Court, which is not expected to uphold the disqualification. The Zionist Camp, comprised of the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s party, reversed its already-reversed position and joined the majority in voting to disqualify Zoabi. Only six votes were cast against disqualifying the…

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  • Israeli election coverage: 'Our Ahmad is named Ayman'

    In its coverage of the elections, the Israeli media generally portrays political parties with pictures of their chairpersons — that is, except for the joint Arab list. By Elad Harlev / 'The 7th Eye' Earlier this week, Oren Persico called out the Israeli media for its representations, or lack thereof, of non-Jewish Israelis. The story, in case you missed it, is that the Israel Hayom newspaper decided only very late in the game to include head of the Arab Joint List Ayman Odeh in its portraits of Knesset candidates. The change, as late as it came, is praiseworthy, and we…

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  • 'A Palestinian state isn't the solution, but it's a step in the right direction': Meet MK Jamal Zahalka

    Chairman of the Balad party says that unification of Israel’s Arab parties is nothing short of historic — both in Israel and the Arab world: ‘There has never been unity between the communists, nationalists and Islamists.' In an interview, Zahalka talks about his party’s appeal to Jewish voters, why the Joint List won’t join an Israeli government and what compromises he is willing to make to end the occupation. "A war of attrition." That is how writer Samah Salaime Agbaria, my colleague at +972's sister site Local Call, described the endless negotiations between the Arab parties in their attempt to form…

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  • The Arab parties united? Great, now it's time to get to work

    After a great deal of work, the joint Arab election slate has finally come into fruition. But what does the list say about the place of women in Arab politics? Who proved himself to be the real leader of the group? And what can the Arab public do now? You know that joke about how Arabs can't agree about anything but the fact that they disagree about everything? Well, it is officially no longer relevant! With the looming elections and the raising of the electoral threshold, Israel's Arab population went into a long state of difficult contractions. A group of…

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  • Arab parties announce joint slate for upcoming election

    In a bid to remain relevant with an increased electoral threshold, the three Arab parties and Communist party Hadash are to run on one list in the March 17 elections. In an unprecedented, historic move, Israel's Arab parties Hadash, Balad, Ta'al and Ra'am announced late Thursday night that they will run on a joint slate named "The Joint List" in the upcoming March 17 election. The list will be headed by the Arab-Jewish Hadash party's Ayman Odeh, who was elected party chairman last week, followed by Masud Ghnaim of the Islamist Ra’am and Balad’s Jamal Zahalka in third place. Ahmed…

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  • Arab parties likely to announce historic joint election slate in coming days

    Islamists, Marxists, women and Jews: The Arab parties have done the seemingly impossible and are likely announce a united election slate in the coming days. By Yael Marom and Nadav Frankovich Israel's Arab parties are expected to announce the formation of a combined election slate in the lead-up to the upcoming elections. The slate, which will group Ra'am, Balad, Hadash and Ta'al into one party (without formally merging), has been named "The United List," and is set to include secular, religious, female and Jewish politicians. While the different Arab parties have historically run separately, a law spearheaded last year by…

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  • Why won't the Arab parties just unite already?

    Raising the Knesset threshold was a game-changer, and now the Arab parties must find a way to unite in order to stay relevant. Will they put aside their egos and political differences for the sake of Israel's Palestinian minority? A war of attrition has been declared on the Palestinian minority in Israel, in the wake of endless discussions over the possibility of uniting the Arab parties to run in the upcoming elections. It turns out that Arabs are not really connected to realtime: with every passing week, simple folk such as myself (not to mention 60 percent of the Arab…

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  • Asylum seekers to stay in prison while Israelis hit the polls

    Human rights organizations pledge to challenge the latest iteration of the Prevention of Infiltration Law; new poll gives Livni and Labor a chance; Arab parties agree in principle to a joint list; High Court to hear Zoabi's challenge to Knesset suspension. Before disbanding itself ahead of elections, the Knesset on Monday passed its third try at a law that would keep open Israel’s detention center for African asylum seekers. The High Court of Justice struck down two previous versions of the law as unconstitutional and ordered the Holot open prison closed nearly three months ago. The law's fate fell into the…

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