Arab unity: Arab nationalist party joins Joint List

'For the sake of ending the occupation.' Balad faction rejoins Joint List, ending split between Arab factions and creating single list.

Hezki Baruch ,

Balad party members
Balad party members
Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

The central committee of the Arab nationalist Balad faction has approved a measure bringing the party into the Joint List party for the September 17th election.

According to a report by Haaretz Monday morning, 26 members of the Balad party’s central committee voted in favor of joining the Joint List, while one member voted against, and another abstained.

Balad party chairman MK Mtanes Shehadeh will receive the second slot on the Joint List Knesset slate

Balad, which was declared its opposition to Israel as a Jewish state and pushed to turn the country into a “state of all its citizens” has been barred in previous elections from running by the election committee – only to have the decisions overturned by the Supreme Court.

In 2015, Balad joined with the three other major Arab Knesset factions – Ta’al, the United Arab List, and Hadash – forming the Joint List party, which won 13 seats.

Ahead of the April 2019 election, however, the union split apart into two lists – Ta’al – Hadash, and a joint ticket of the United Arab List and Balad. The UAL-Balad list won four seats, giving Balad two mandates in the 21st Knesset.

One Balad candidate, Mazen Ghanayem, who had been third on the Balad list, dropped out of the election after he was given the 12th spot on the Joint List.

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh (Hadash) said the newly reformed Joint List would have greater power to “end the occupation”.

“A big Joint List will have more influence than ever to help the weaker populations, the end the occupation, and to [create] an equal society.”