Predominately Arab Joint List, minus Balad faction, submits candidates for Knesset ahead of November ballot

Arab Israeli Joint List alliance splits as parties submit Knesset slate for November elections

Along with expected low voter turnout, break up set to reduce Arab sector representation in Israeli parliament; some 40 lists submit candidates as Israel heads for unprecedented fifth election in four years

Ynet |
Published: 09.15.22, 23:30
The predominately Arab alliance of parties - the Joint List on Thursday, split with the Balad faction announcing it would run separately, despite little chance it will succeed to pass the minimum Knesset threshold of four seats.
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  • As polling predicts a low turn out of Arab voters, the split poses further challenges to the Arab political representatives.
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    הגשת רשימות סופיות לבחירות
    הגשת רשימות סופיות לבחירות
    Predominately Arab Joint List, minus Balad faction, submits candidates for Knesset ahead of November ballot
    (Photo: Central Election Committee)
    Low voter participation and the dramatic last minute split, bolsters the chances for Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing and religious bloc to form the next government.
    At 10 pm the gates of the Knesset were shut and only representatives of parties already on the premises, were able to use the remaining two hours - before the midnight deadline - to submitting their lists of candidates.
    Some 40 parties submitted their final lists for an unprecedented fifth election in four years, which looks unlikely to break the deadlock between former premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his bitter rivals.
    The Nov. 1 ballot will see the veteran Netanyahu leading a bloc of right-wing and ultra-religious parties against centrist Prime Minister Yair Lapid who is leading a far more fragmented camp, spanning left to right.
    So far polls have shown neither camp winning an outright majority in Israel's 120-seat Knesset, an outcome that analysts say could leave Israel facing many more months of political uncertainty as economic and security troubles mount.
    Likud under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu submitted its list earlier in the day, after the party leader assigned safe seats to former members of Naftali Bennett's Yamina party, who defected to Netanyahu's right-wing and religious bloc and caused the Bennett government to fall.
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    בנימין נתניהו, עמיחי שיקלי ועידית סילמן
    בנימין נתניהו, עמיחי שיקלי ועידית סילמן
    Benjamin Netanyahu with his picks for Likud Knesset candidate list
    Netanyahu was seen as attempting to appeal to the rightwing liberal voters who had previously backed Bennett, but those may stay away - after Netanyahu's alliance with the far-right Religious Zionism alliance, that includes racist Itamar Ben Gvir and the extreme Noam party, which calls the gay community – "sexual perverts," and says women belong at home and not in the public sphere.
    Yamina itself and Bennett, are absent from the elections this year and his former close alley Ayelet Shaked is running under the Jewish Home Party, but has little chance of being elected.
    Likud's list includes just one woman among its top ten candidates, and many of the party's senior members have been pushed back in a primary vote, while the more vocal of Netanyahu supporters' who expressed more extreme views and threatened the judicial system, were advanced to the top.
    Earlier on Thursday, Likud slammed Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party as racist, after a campaign add directed at the Russian speaking Israelis appeare, claiming Likud was advancing the Sephardi constituents over the mostly Ashkenazi immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
    3 View gallery
    כנס הצגת נבחרת מפלגת יש עתיד לכנסת ה-25
    כנס הצגת נבחרת מפלגת יש עתיד לכנסת ה-25
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid
    (Photo: Elad Guttman)
    Lapid responded by accusing Likud of promoting sectorial strife, adding that there were more candidates from Arab countries and North African origins, at the top of Yesh Atid, than in the Likud leadership. The party said they fired the freelance campaign worker responsible for the ad.
    Despite his efforts, Lapid was unable to convince Labor leader Merav Michaeli to join forces with the leftists Meretz party, and the two will compete for votes, as Lapid hopes both cross the minimum Knesset threshold. IF one or both do not, his parliamentary bloc would lose precious votes needed to prevent Netanyahu from returning to power.
    Netanyahu's close ally, Aryeh Deri, submitted his ultra-Orthodox Shas Party's list with his name at the top of the ballot. This, despite having plead guilty to tax evasions earlier in the year, and being forced to leave the outgoing Knesset.
    Since he avoided a trial with his guilty plea, Deri was not sanctioned by a court for a crime that would have prevented him from running for the elections.
    He had already spent years behind bars for corruption, earlier in his political career and returned to the Knesset after a seven-year hiatus. His candidacy may be challenged in the courts.
    The other orthodox factions agreed to maintain their alliance despite internal disputes, at the urging of Netanyahu, who was also instrumental in uniting the parties on the far-right.

    Reuters contributed to this report
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