Joint List infighting threatens its future

Due in part to infighting in the Joint List, polls broadcast on Tuesday night predicted that it would fall from its current 15 seats to 11 or 12 in the next election.

JOINT LIST MKs (from left) Mtanes Shehadeh, Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, and former MK Abd al-Hakeem Hajj Yahya meet at the Knesset, September 17, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
JOINT LIST MKs (from left) Mtanes Shehadeh, Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, and former MK Abd al-Hakeem Hajj Yahya meet at the Knesset, September 17, 2020
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Leaders of parties in the Joint List exchanged mutual recriminations on Wednesday, leading to speculation that the four Arab parties would not run together in the next election.
Ra’am (United Arab List) leader Mansour Abbas angered the other party heads in the Joint List faction by saying in media interviews that the Joint List would not continue if it did not start serving its Arab-Israeli constituents better. Abbas wants the list to cooperate with all parties, including the Likud, instead of being taken for granted as part of the Left.
Balad Party head Mtanes Shehadeh said Abbas was wrong to trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to consider helping Netanyahu pass legislation that could enable him to evade prosecution, in return for bills that would help the Arab sector.
“We know what Netanyahu’s intentions are,” Shehadeh told Army Radio. “Netanyahu wants to break up the Joint List. He doesn’t want what is best for us. He wants to weaken the political power of Israeli-Arab citizens. That is why Abbas’s approach is incorrect.”
Abbas’s opponents in the Joint List accused him of seeking to lower the electoral threshold so Ra’am could run on its own. Abbas has denied supporting lowering the threshold and trying to break up the Joint List.
“I am staying in the Joint List and fighting for my views,” Abbas told Army Radio.
MKs in the Likud have expressed support for lowering the threshold in order to harm Yamina and enable the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party of activist Itamar Ben-Gvir to enter the Knesset.
The heads of the other two parties in the Joint List, Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, favor keeping all four parties together. “What you are doing is a crime, and history will not forgive you,” Channel 12 quoted Odeh telling Abbas in the faction’s WhatsApp group.
Due in part to infighting in the Joint List, polls broadcast on Tuesday night predicted that it would fall from its current 15 seats to 11 or 12 in the next election.

MKs in the Likud have expressed support for lowering the threshold in order to harm Yamina and enable the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party of activist Itamar Ben-Gvir to enter the Knesset.
The heads of the other two parties in the Joint List, Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, favor keeping all four parties together.
Due in part to infighting in the Joint List, polls broadcast on Tuesday night predicted that it would fall from its current 15 seats to 11 or 12 in the next election.