The merging of Labor-Gesher and Meretz is a relief because there was a real possibility that one of those parties, most likely Meretz, would not have garnered enough votes to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold. If that would happen, close to 150,000 votes could be tossed out and victory would be handed to Netanyahu on a silver platter by his biggest adversaries. In round one of the elections in April 2019, Meretz was saved by including two Arab representatives among the first five on the list, and more than 40,000 Arab voters supported Meretz. In September, running as the Democratic Camp, only one Arab representative was in the top five, and with the addition of the rejection by the Arab population of a list which included Ehud Barak (even if in the unrealistic place #10 on the list), the party only got four seats and no Arab representative was elected.In the current round, the merger of the left-wing Zionist parties pushed the sole Arab representative to place #11 and we can expect that the new block will receive almost no Arab votes. It is a sad commentary that the joining together of what is called the Zionist Left has not matured enough to include Arab representatives, of at least 20% in realistic slots.It is not only Arab voters who are deeply disappointed with the construct of the merged list. Israel needs a new vision and pragmatic camp of leaders who see the imperative of building a shared society for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens. Particularly after so many years of incitement against Arabs in Israel by the country’s leader, we need a new political construct that can heal the wounds of hatred and incitement and build a society which is shared by all of Israel’s citizens. We need to build a political camp which embraces Israel not only as the nation-state of the Jewish people, but also as the state of all of its citizens. This is a political camp that would replace the Nation-State Law with a law of equality for all citizens of Israel, and which would re-instate Arabic as the second official language of Israel. The Arab citizens of Israel would accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people because the Jewish people of the State of Israel would respect the Arab citizens of Israel as equal citizens in all aspects of public life. Together we would work to build a new Israel based on partnership of strong foundations of social, economic and political justice and equality. TOGETHER WE would work for peace with all of our neighbors recognizing the national and political rights of the Palestinian people and the rights of Jews to also be citizens of the Palestinian state, where Palestine is the nation-state of the Palestinian people and its Jewish citizens are equal citizens within that state. This is a political vision based on what Netanyahu used to call mutuality and reciprocity.Israel can never be a real democracy if by definition it has second-class citizens. That is true of any group of citizens who feel that they are second class – be they new immigrants from Ethiopia or from the former Soviet Union, or haredim (ultra-Orthodox) or any group of people living in the periphery of Israeli society. We need to build an Israel which is a mosaic of all of the communities that are Israeli citizens.A mosaic only shows its beauty when all of the pieces are shining and are intact. It is a picture of a society which mixes and interacts and celebrates its diversity. There are places within this kind of Israel for communities to express their individual identities, and thrive within their own communities without imposing themselves on others, but there must be a sense that we are all part of it and each part is crucial to the total picture. True equality is never really based on what was once called in America “separate but equal.” A true democratic Israel would have to be based on shared citizenship in shared society and interaction and acceptance of all parts of the society – Jewish or Arab, Ashkenazi or Mizrahi, religious, traditional or secular, black or white, men or women, straight or LGBT – we are all Israelis and we are all part of Israel.We need to translate or founding Declaration of Independence in the laws of the State of Israel. We need a political movement that would advance social justice for all on the basis of the principles of the Declaration of Independence. It would be a political camp that would sincerely outstretch its hand to all of Israel’s Arab neighbors, first and foremost the Palestinians and would work on building cross boundary partnerships that would put an end to Israel’s control over the Palestinian people next door.We have never had a political party like that in Israel. Meretz, with one or two Arab representatives, was never a political movement of a shared society, neither was Hadash with its one Jewish representative. How enlightening and refreshing it would be to see a political movement which is inclusive and open and embraces all of Israel’s citizens.Maybe for round four?The writer is a political and social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the State of Israel and to peace between Israel and her neighbors. His latest book, In Pursuit of Peace in Israel and Palestine, was published by Vanderbilt University Press.