Hadash Hebrew campaign material .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The joint Arab list for the upcoming election, which includes the Jewish-Arab Hadash party, launched its Hebrew-language campaign on Wednesday at an event in Tel Aviv where the leaders of the four parties in the bloc spoke.
“My response to racism – the Joint List,” the alliance’s campaign slogan goes. It is meant not only to appeal to Arabs, but also to other populations that suffer from discrimination.
The bloc is trying to market itself not as an “Arab” list, as it has been described in the media, but as a “joint list,” due to Jewish representation and membership in the Hadash party. The list says it is fighting for equality, democracy and peace.
It hopes to become the third largest bloc in the Knesset.
The UAL, Ta’al, Hadash and Balad struck a deal last month to run together. The decision to raise the electoral threshold to 3.25 percent of the vote and pressure from the Arab public forced the parties to band together.
Arab alliance and Hadash head Ayman Odeh spoke first on Wednesday, saying that the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has led to an unprecedented campaign of incitement against the Arab public, expressed by violence in the streets, and by increasing institutional racism and discrimination in the country.
“Those who do not want us in the Knesset, who raised the electoral threshold in order to keep us out, will discover that we have become a great political power,” Odeh said. “We appeal to all the disadvantaged in Israel and promise that in the coming Knesset we will represent all of you. A joint list is our answer to racism.”
MK Masud Gnaim, the chairman of the UAL, which is associated with the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, said the campaign in Hebrew is meant to let the “Jewish public recognize who we are,” since the right wing has been scaremongering against us.
The list’s agenda is not just to serve Palestinian Arabs, but for the country to become more democratic and tolerant, he said.
“The struggle against discrimination and racism is not confined to the Arab parties, but concerns society as a whole,” said Gnaim.
Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka said the joint list might be able to gain an additional Knesset seat by attracting Jewish votes. “Our list is the only one that strives for a just peace,” he exclaimed.
Ta’al chairman Ahmed Tibi said that the joint list is seeking to defeat the Right. He went on to take a dig against Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, asserting: He “wanted us out of the Knesset,” but in the end, he is the one in danger of failing to pass the electoral threshold.