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Is Israel’s Arab party about to split?

The Joint List of predominantly Arab parties is on the verge of disintegration — not because of the wide ideological rift amid its factions, but over a vacant Knesset seat.
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Barely does a day go by that the Balad Party does not in some way challenge the other parties that comprise the Joint List, a unified slate of predominantly Arab parties. The scandals and provocations engineered by the party have often embarrassed other Arab lawmakers and political activists. However, they almost always refrained from reacting in public, adhering to the commitment made when the alliance was established in 2015 to wash their dirty laundry at home and not to give their many detractors any reason to crow over their internal differences. They were especially loathe to give any satisfaction to the head of the Yisrael Beitenu party, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, whose party had pushed through legislation raising the electoral threshold in order to keep the (small) Arab parties out of the Knesset. At the time, Liberman’s initiative pushed four Arab parties to unite into one large Knesset list.

Since the birth of the Joint List in January 2015 in Nazareth, its members have managed admirably to resolve the problems arising from their innate ideological and social differences behind closed doors.

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