The Hadash Party's council approved a merger on Saturday with the socio-political movement 'Tarabut', in hopes of attracting more voters just before the national elections.
"We are a Jewish-Arab political party that has become saddled with the identity of a solely Arab party. We are very proud of all of our Arab members, but we also want to strengthen our image in Jewish circles," Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh told Ynet.
Tarabut is a grassroots peace movement whose claim to fame rests on its vehement battle against the separation fence. It is also responsible for the establishment of the 'Ir Lekulano' (A City for All of Us) Party, which gained a considerable foothold in the recent Tel Aviv municipal election. MK Dov Khenin of Hadash heads the party.
Barakeh claims the union will improve his party's standing considerably. "It is proper for us to set an example for different politics and a different kind of cooperation," he said.
Hadash has scheduled its primary elections for next Saturday, and it is widely assumed that Barakeh will be re-elected to the office of chairman. It remains to be seen whether a member of Tarabut will also land a top slot.
"Hadash votes according to the most democratic system in Israel. Next Saturday representatives of the Hadash council will have their say and I certainly hope a representative from Tarabut will be among our Knesset nominees," Barakeh concluded.