Israeli Arab MKs in Knesset
Photo: Zoom 77
Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz
Photo: Israel Hadari
More than half of Israeli Arab voters would support Zionist parties in the upcoming general elections, a poll probing the political moods of voters in the Arab sector revealed Wednesday.
The poll indicated that 67 percent of eligible Israeli Arab voters, some 400,000 voters, will take part in the March 28 elections, 48 percent of whom will support Zionist parties as opposed to 30 percent in 2003.
Conducted by Dr. Eli Reches of Tel Aviv University the poll tested 545 respondents.
The main Israeli Arab factions in the current Knesset all suffered a decrease in support among Israeli Arabs in comparison to the 2003 general elections with Hadash-Ta’al losing 5 percent of support, the United Arab 8 percent and Balad 7 percent.
The poor standing of Arab parties entailed a boost in support for Zionist parties among Israeli Arab voters, some 33 percent of whom said they would vote for the Labor Party if the elections were held “today.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s new party Kadima will receive 10.7 percent of Israel Arab votes.
Dr. Reches noted that under the leadership of Amir Peretz the Labor Party has been more appealing to members of the Israeli Arab sector with election pledges to fight poverty, roll back spending cuts, attend to the needs of the Arab citizens and appoint an Arab minister in the next government.
Reches added that Peretz poses a real threat to Israeli Arab parties.
The solution for Arab parties is to run under one faction which will guarantee 60 percent of votes, according to the poll. Only 20 percent of correspondents however believe Arab factions will actually unite under one political umbrella, with 50 percent attributing the failure to do so to “personal interests.”