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Israeli Arabs disappointed by election results

Despite the electoral achievement of the Joint List becoming the Knesset's third-largest party, its supporters felt defeated as the the Israeli majority voted for the right.
An Israeli Arab stands behind a voting booth before casting her ballot at a polling station in the northern town of Umm el-Fahm March 17, 2015. Millions of Israelis turned out to vote on Tuesday in a tightly-fought election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an uphill battle to defeat a strong campaign by the centre-left opposition to deny him a fourth term in office. In a possible sign of edginess, Netanyahu took to Facebook to denounce what he said was an effort by left-wing non-profit groups
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At 9:45 p.m., soon after election results were televised March 17, the heads of the Joint List arrived at their election night headquarters in the Abu Maher wedding hall in Nazareth. Even though they fulfilled their goal of becoming the third-largest party in the next Knesset (with 13 seats), they were disappointed. The party will not be able to block a right-wing government, and the promise to work for a fruitful coexistence with the Jewish sector appears as distant as ever.

Earlier that day, Israeli Arabs who already voted, and those who still debated whether to participate in the political game, realized that their participation was not at all welcomed. Moreover, it was perceived as a hostile act. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to prod right-wing electors to vote by saying, “The Arabs are going to the polls in droves.” But the facts regarding Arab voting percentages say otherwise. While the voting percentage among Israeli Arabs did rise in comparison with the previous election, and numerous Arabs returned to vote after more than a decade of boycotts, they did not go out “in droves.” Most of the Islamic movement people apparently paid no heed to the calls of the Joint List and the promise for change; instead, they remained in their homes. Even the opponents of the Balad movement among Hadash supporters vacillated throughout the day on whether to vote or not.

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