The heads of the Joint List spent most of Monday urging Arab citizens to head to the ballot boxes, expressing hope that large turnout would increase the number of its seats in the Knesset from 13 to 15 or 16.By Monday afternoon, however, Joint List representatives seemed to be worried that not enough Arabs were heeding their calls. In Nazareth and Shfar’am, for example, less than half of eligible voters had cast their ballots four hours before the end of the voting centers. In addition, some Joint List members seemed to be concerned about large turnout in Jewish cities and towns, especially those known as strongholds of the right-wing parties, including Likud.“Our main goal is to see more Arabs in the Knesset,” said Majed Nashef, a construction worker from the city of Taiba in the Triangle area, hometown of MK Ahmad Tibi. “I’ve seen many people here go to vote, but I’m afraid not enough.”Nashef and other Arab citizens said they were worried about the “campaign to delegitimize the Arab citizens of Israel” during the election campaign.“I believe that because of the campaign of incitement, many Arabs have decided to make a bigger effort to increase the power of the Joint List,” said Eman Abu Hassan, a schoolteacher from the nearby town of Qalansawe, also in the Triangle area. “These elections are very important for the Arabs in wake of attempts by the Israeli establishment and many politicians to delegitimize the Arab community. They want us to stay at home, but we have decided to show them that attempts to marginalize the Arabs are doomed to failure.”Qalanswe Mayor Abdel Baset Salameh, soon after he voted in the town early in the morning, said the Arabs consider this election as “unusual.” The Arabs, he said, feel they are being targeted and that’s why they need to increase their participation in the election. “We are already suffering from many problems, and this is our chance to bring about change.”Joint List supporters said they were making a big effort to persuade Arab women and youth to participate in the election, noting that many of them had boycotted the last two elections in April and September 2019.“We are focusing on the women and young people,” said Joint List activist Munir Jabara, a resident of Taiba. “We are explaining to them that their vote is important in order to weaken the right-wing parties and get rid of the racist Netanyahu government. We are telling them that the Joint List is the only party that represents the Arab citizens, since most of the major Jewish parties don’t have Arab candidates. We want to prove to everyone that the Arabs are capable of bringing about change in Israel.”Tibi, who arrived at a voting center in Taiba accompanied by his mother, wife and two daughters, appeared in an upbeat mood as he declared: “We will bring a big victory for political change in the country.” Echoing Netanyahu’s election campaign slogan from previous votes (Bibi or Tibi), Tibi said Monday’s election will prove whether “Bibi or Tibi won. I’m optimistic.”Eman Khatib Yassin, No. 15 on the Joint List, said Monday’s election was “exceptional and extraordinary.”The Arab citizens are facing the biggest challenge, she said. “We are facing a massive campaign of racist incitement that is not only limited to rhetoric, but actions as well. The prime minister is inciting against us and making deals with the president of the US concerning the Arab citizens of Israel.”Yassin was referring to US President Donald Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, which envisages placing the Triangle area under a future Palestinian state. Many Arab Israelis have expressed outrage over the plan, dubbing it racist and discriminatory.“We are now in a battle for survival, for our presence here,” Yassin added. Our response will be through our power. The Arabs have accepted the challenge by Netanyahu and Trump and our response will be through the voting centers. We will show them our real force.”Sheikh Ali Abu Rayya, a mosque imam from the Galilee town of Sakhnin, said the Arabs were now facing an opportunity to “defeat the extremist right-wing parties and Netanyahu after they passed racist laws against our people.” Abu Rayya, a supporter of the Joint List, said he and his friends were seeking to achieve two goals: increasing the number of Arabs in the Knesset and bringing down Netanyahu, as well as undermining the right-wing parties in Israel.