Al­most half of Is­raeli-Arabs dis­sat­is­fied with Joint List

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By EYTAN HALON Gil Hoff­man and Alon Ein­horn con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Some 46% of Is­raeli-Arab vot­ers are dis­sat­is­fied by the per­for­mance of the Joint List dur­ing the current Knes­set term, ac­cord­ing to a Midgam sur­vey pub­lished by Ye­diot Aharonot on Thurs­day.

Only 42% said they were sat­is­fied by the Joint List al­liance, which cur­rently holds 13 seats in the Knes­set and is es­ti­mated to have re­ceived 82% of all Is­raeli-Arab votes in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tion.

The poll, car­ried out over the last three days, fur­ther re­vealed that 52% of re­spon­dents be­lieve that the Joint List does not rep­re­sent them or hardly rep­re­sents them as Is­raeli-Arabs, with 44% stat­ing that it does in­deed rep­re­sent them well.

Notably, 47% of re­spon­dents said MK Ah­mad Tibi – who with­drew his Ta’al (Arab Move­ment for Change) Party from the Joint List on Tues­day – should lead the fac­tion. Only 20% ex­pressed sup­port for in­cum­bent leader MK Ay­man Odeh (Hadash).

Af­ter declar­ing that his party will run in­de­pen­dently in April’s elec­tions, Tibi told The Jerusalem Post that he would not be will­ing to join a coali­tion and be­come the first Arab min­is­ter from an Arab party

– even if the next gov­ern­ment was formed by a Cen­ter-Left party and not Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s Likud.

The Ta’al Party is cur­rently ex­pected to re­ceive 43% of the Is­raeli-Arab votes, com­pared to only 38% of votes for the Joint List – now made up of an al­liance be­tween Odeh’s Hadash, the United Arab List and Balad.

“There is no doubt that these are sur­pris­ing re­sults which are likely to change the pub­lic agenda in Is­rael’s Arab so­ci­ety,” Ihab Kadah, man­ager of Midgam’s Arab de­part­ment, told Ye­diot Aharonot.

The with­drawal of Ta’al from the Joint List came only days af­ter con­tro­ver­sial Joint List MK Ha­neen Zoabi, Balad MK Ja­mal Za­halka and United Arab List MK Ma­sud Gnaim con­firmed that they will not run in the up­com­ing elec­tions. Sim­i­larly, the Joint List fac­tion’s only Jewish law­maker, Dov Henin, an­nounced he will not be running either. Henin has served in the Knes­set as a mem­ber of the Hadash Party for 13 years.

Prior to the split, 67% of Is­raeli-Arabs said they would vote for the Joint List headed by Odeh, 5% would vote for Meretz, 4% for the Likud and only 3% for La­bor.

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